Print Edition - 2018-07-12 | Oped
Good Riddance, Boris Johnson
- May’s proposal means smooth transition
Jul 12, 2018-
Britain’s foreign secretary and its chief Brexit negotiator caused quite a stir when they resigned within 24 hours of each other because they considered Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposal too accommodating to Europe. Though details are still to come, the plan would have Britain try to enter into a free-trade agreement with the bloc by a “common rule book for industrial goods and agricultural products,” and accept partial jurisdiction by the European Court of Justice.
Not surprisingly, May’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Davis, a proponent of a “hard Brexit,” quit on Sunday, along with his deputy. The greater shock came on Monday, when the flamboyant foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, followed suit after declaring with typical cheek that selling the prime minister’s Brexit plan would be akin to “polishing a turd.”
The resignations immediately set off speculation about the fall of Mrs. May’s government. But it is doubtful that hard-line Brexiteers in May’s Conservative Party can muster the 48 votes that party rules require to force a vote of confidence, much less the votes needed to force her into a leadership contest (in which Mr. Johnson would be a potential candidate).
Britain will officially leave the union next March, but for the exit not to be a total disaster for Britain, the two sides need to agree on a broad range of issues by October, including the terms of transition, customs arrangements and the basic shape of a future trade relationship.
Published: 12-07-2018 08:21