Brexit is a healing salve according to Johnson. In fact, it could be the beginning of the end for the Tories.
According to Tory ministers, there are more people in employment in the UK than ever before and Brexit is a master stroke that will open up all manner of opportunities for the UK. So how do they explain the fact that we’ve slipped from 5th to 7th in the global GDP rankings over the last 3yrs and we haven’t even left yet?..
- United States (GDP: 21.41 trillion)
- China (GDP: 15.54 trillion)
- Japan (GDP: 5.36 trillion)
- Germany (GDP: 4.42 trillion)
- India (GDP: 3.16 trillion)
- France (GDP: 3.06 trillion)
- United Kingdom (GDP: 3.02 trillion)
- Italy (GDP: 2.26 trillion)
- Brazil (GDP: 2.26 trillion)
- Canada (GDP: 1.91 trillion)
You have to wonder just how optimistic the Tories are feeling today as they take the country careering towards a cliff edge, just as the UK economy seems to have taken a significant dip. We all know that Tory ministers have a talent for putting a positive spin on even the direst of situations and they appear to be holding that formation for the moment but I’m wondering when the panic might start to set in.
It’s also worth bearing in mind, although the UK is supposed to be leaving the EU today, that we still have a transition period which gives us until the end of the year to negotiate a deal with the EU. In other words we won’t really start to see the full consequences of Brexit until 2021.
So, you do have to wonder how Boris Johnson’s team might be feeling today. Will this really be the cathartic experience they were hoping for? I think probably not. In fact, I suspect that they might even consider their recent general election win (with an increased majority), a bit of a double edged sword. You see, they threw away the opportunity to collaborate with parliament. In fact, they even tried to pitch parliament and the law courts as the enemy of the people. Quite frankly, if the election had not yielded a majority, there’s every chance they would have continued to blame the opposition and the law courts for their failures. So, now they are in charge, now they have the majority and now they have literally no one else to blame. Quite frankly, if I were a Tory minister today, I’d have a number of reasons to keep looking over my shoulder…
- Conservative members are ruthless when it comes to failure
- Hard right leave voters will lynch them if they don’t cut all ties with the EU
- Left leaning leave voters will expect a good deal with the EU and they’ll want to see the Tories deliver on some of the left wing policies they stole from Labour
- Scotland will now have a stronger case for a 2nd Scottish referendum and every time the Tories lose ground in EU negotiations their case will only get stronger
- They’re going to have to pull off more than a minor miracle to satisfy the DUP
- Remainers will be publicly scrutinising their every move and dissecting their every failed negotiation over the next 11 months.
In fact, I’m wondering, for some Tories at least, if they’re not feeling just a little exposed and if the 31st January 2020 might well feel more like a death knell for the Conservative party.