- Conservatives who govern Britain will announce tomorrow who will be the new party leader, replacing Theresa May.
- For now, in Britain, it is expected the resignation of important ministers, who will fall back to Parliament and with their vote will try to stop any movement towards a Brexit without agreement.
- The opposition Labor Party is considering issuing a vote of no confidence to the conservative government on Thursday.
Turbulent months are expected in the European Union (EU) with Great Britain. It is likely that the day after tomorrow, Boris Johnson will become the new British prime minister, and with his coming to power there is a complicated panorama for the bloc: a Brexit without agreement or a new postponement.
Conservatives who govern Britain will announce tomorrow who will be the new party leader, replacing Theresa May. The chosen one will automatically become prime minister the next day. A little more than three months later, on October 31, Britain is expected to leave the European Union (EU).
The crisis of Brexit, which has been going on for three years, could be aggravated by a leader like Johnson, who constantly clashes with Brussels and his own Parliament and who promised to “die or leave” the EU with or without agreement. In addition, Britain could address a political crisis, a recession, an election, a referendum or several of those options at the same time. “It’s a very changing situation,” said Nick Wright, an EU policy expert at University College London. “Literally, anything could happen.”
For now, important ministers are expected to resign, who will fall back to Parliament and with their vote will try to stop any movement towards a Brexit without agreement.
The pollsters predict that Johnson, a former chancellor, will obtain the support of 53% of the 160,000 Tories who voted in the referendum to appoint the new prime minister. His rival, Jeremy Hunt, will meet only 29%, and the remaining 18% is still undecided or will vote blank.
With his classic boastful style, Johnson sustained his attacks on the EU in his campaign, talked about recovering the mystique of Britain and made a promise: “Britain will leave the EU on October 31st. let it pass.” But that promise will be difficult to fulfill. The new leader leads a government without a parliamentary majority in a deeply divided country that faces a distrustful EU.
The new leader could face a challenge even before having the opportunity to take office. The opposition Labor Party is considering issuing a vote of no confidence to the conservative government on Thursday. It would only take a handful of conservative rebels to defeat the government and provoke an early election unless the vote is voided within 14 days.
The good news for the prime minister is that Parliament should start its six-week summer vacation on Friday and Labor will probably decide to wait before acting.
To this is added the resistance within Boris’s own Conservative Party. Economy Minister Philip Hammond and Justice Minister David Gauke have already announced that they will resign next Wednesday because they oppose a no-deal. It is expected that other lower-ranking ministers, such as the secretary of International Development, Rory Stewart, will also leave.
The resistance of the conservatives to the no-deal is great. Johnson even suffered his first parliamentary defeat before setting foot on Downing Street, when the House of Commons blocked his plan to put Parliament in recess to facilitate a hard Brexit on October 31 if there is no agreement with the EU.
In addition to facing his party, Boris would have to deal with the EU. The bloc mistrusts Johnson, who began his career as a journalist based in Brussels and who they say published exaggerated stories about the EU bureaucracy for a British newspaper.
The ex-chancellor said he would immediately begin negotiations to change the Brexit agreement, which was signed in May, and which has been rejected three times by the British Parliament. But the mood in Europe is pessimistic. “If they come and ask us to renegotiate the agreement for the Brexit, we will say: ‘Thank you, no, thank you,'” said an EU diplomat involved in the negotiations.
Also, there is a great concern about the possible impact on the EU economy of approximately 18.7 billion dollars per year. European capitals are increasing pressure on Ireland to accelerate preparations for an exit without an agreement, which could shake the financial markets and hinder trade.
While negotiating with the EU, Great Britain will plan an exit without agreement. Johnson says that if Britain prepares well, a Brexit without agreement will be “very cheap.” But a report by the Office of Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) warned that it could plunge Britain into a prolonged recession.