The Corner


A Brexit Blackmail

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside Downing Street in London, England, September 25, 2019. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

When asked about Brexit, Donald Trump recently called Boris Johnson the “right man for the time” and added “what I would like to see is for Nigel [Farage] and Boris to come together. I think that’s a possibility.”

Is it?

Nigel Farage has urged Boris Johnson to “change course” after the PM dismissed the idea of a pact with the Brexit Party leader. While wearing boxing gloves and pretending to punch cameras, he said that the Brexit party would “stand for Brexit if [Boris Johnson] doesn’t really want to.”

“If Boris Johnson was going for a genuine Brexit,” Farage told the BBC, expressing his disapproval for Johnson’s Brexit deal, “we wouldn’t need to fight against him in this election.” Though he does not intend to run himself, Farage has said he will campaign on behalf of the Brexit party’s other candidates.

Johnson has responded by saying: “I will be very, very clear that voting for any other party than this government, this Conservative government, this One Nation Conservative government is basically tantamount to putting Jeremy Corbyn in.”

For millions, not least Britain’s Jews, that is a troublesome thought. But will it be enough to overcome Farage’s Brexit blackmail?

Ironically, Farage’s messaging about Johnson is very similar to Johnson’s messaging about Theresa May. He is effectively saying pick Boris and a bad deal or my party and a clean break. Even if this doesn’t lead to Corbyn, splitting the Tory vote might very well lead to yet another hung parliament and no clear way out of the Brexit mess.

For a deeper exploration of the problems associated with this, I highly recommended reading John O’Sullivan’s latest.

Madeleine Kearns is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute. She is from Glasgow, Scotland, and is a trained singer.

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