Today (Tuesday) Boris Johnson is expected to be elected as leader of the Conservative Party, before being appointed as Prime Minister on Wednesday.
The Conservative election contest has been dominated by the issue of Brexit, with both candidates seeking to out-do one another in a process of constant radicalisation. Last week Johnson went so far as to say that no form of backstop, even one that the UK could pull out of at any time, was acceptable.
On Monday of this week the briefing ran that Johnson would not seek a deal from Europe but would wait for the EU to come to the UK to beg for an agreement. These latest pronouncements are only the most recent in a series of mutually contradictory promises made by Johnson over Brexit.
Today the People’s Vote campaign publishes a summary of the six key Brexit tests Johnson has set himself over Brexit - Boris Johnson’s Brexit: The Six Tests He Has Set Himself – and why he will struggle to pass any of them.
Commenting, David Lammy MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“One theme runs through Boris Johnson’s career like letters through a stick of rock: that he will say anything to get what he wants and cares little or nothing about the consequences when he lets people down.
“That is as true of his approach to Brexit as it is to everything else. He has made six big promises to people about what Brexit will mean, but it is now very clear he has little or no intention of keeping all or any of them.
“Instead of working to deliver his promises on trade, on security, on the Northern Ireland border, on money for the NHS, on consumer protection and on clarity about the future, Johnson will instead claim today that his election to the position of Conservative leader by the 0.25% of the population who are Tory members gives him a mandate for a reckless and extreme hard Brexit or a even a destructive No Deal.
“But he has no such mandate and no such claim can ever be legitimate: because what Johnson now proposes is a million miles away from anything he promised in the referendum or after.
“Instead of a trade and security deal, No Deal will see us quit the EU with nothing, despite the huge costs and risks that means. If, instead, he signs up to the Withdrawal Agreement then Johnson will be agreeing to the Irish backstop he keeps telling us is unacceptable. Either way we will have no clarity about the future, and face years of wrangling and disagreement.
“The real prospect is that Johnson will attempt to compensate for the damage of a No Deal exit by signing up to a shotgun wedding deal with Donald Trump. That means submitting to the President’s ‘America First’ agenda.
“Bending the knee to Trump means Johnson will have to break all the promises he made to protect and strengthen the NHS and to keep chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef off our shelves. For it is delusional to think that Trump will do anything other than use British weakness as an opportunity to force his will on us.
“No vote by Conservative Party members can ever make any of this promise breaking legitimate, fair or democratic. With Parliamentary gridlock only likely to worsen as more and more Conservatives turn away from Johnson’s agenda there remains only one way out of this crisis that offers clarity and closure and that is to hand the final say on Brexit back to the public in a People’s Vote.”