Boris Johnson: U.K. Should Prepare for No-Deal Brexit

Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gives a speech at the JCB Headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, Britain, January 18, 2019. (Andrew Yates/Reuters)

British lawmaker Boris Johnson, a contender to take over for outgoing prime minister Theresa May, said Friday that the country must prepare to leave the European Union without a deal in order to establish a strong negotiating position vis-à-vis Brussels.

“We will leave the EU on October 31, deal or no deal,” Johnson told an economic conference in Switzerland, according to Reuters. “The way to get a good deal is to prepare for a no deal.”

Johnson’s comments come hours after May announced she will step down on June 7, recognizing that her Conservative party needs a new leader to guide the country through the final stages of its departure from the EU. May delivered an emotional resignation speech from the steps of No. 10 Downing Street Friday morning in which she called on her eventual successor to ensure that the will of the British people is ultimately exercised.

“I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide. I have done my best to do that,” she said. “I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal. Sadly, I have not been able to do so.”

In a series of votes over the last six months, Conservative and Labour M.P.’s alike consistently rejected the Brexit deal May painstakingly negotiated with Brussels as a perversion of the voters’ will that left the country entangled with the EU.

May’s Conservative party suffered the consequences of her failure to secure the country’s departure from the EU last month, losing 1,300 local seats in a historically bad electoral showing.

Johnson, a former foreign secretary who resigned from May’s cabinet earlier this year out of opposition to her deference toward Brussels, is now positioning himself to succeed her with support from the pro-Brexit wing of the Conservative party. According to a YouGov poll, 77 percent of Tories think Johnson is likable and 70 percent believe he could win a general election.

Most Popular

White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More