'A New Hope' for Britain

LIAM DOWNER-SANDERSON: Britain’s reputation as the number one ‘soft power’ in the world hangs in the balance of current affairs. Fail to leave the European Union at the end of October with no further direction — as we have done three times already — and Britain will look weak, indecisive, and undemocratic.

The situation is not the same as it was on the first three occasions, however. This time, Britain has a new Prime Minister and consequently a glimmer of hope. Boris Johnson does not represent that hope alone, though. The Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage is also a key component.

Without the Brexit party breathing down his neck, Boris may consider trying to force a “soft” Brexit deal, similar to past efforts, through the Commons, or continue to avoid the inevitable for asking for another extension to A50. The presence of Nigel Farage acts as a check on Boris who has proven to not always be the most trustworthy of politicians. His somewhat questionable record on Brexit, including having voted for former Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal despite claiming it would turn Britain into a vassal state, comes to mind. That said, Boris will be determined to secure a noble legacy and his new position as prime minister. Neither is possible if he fails to leave the European Union on October 31, deal or no deal. Failure will lead directly to the complete annihilation of the Tory party at the ballot box for decades, and Boris knows it.  

By delivering Brexit, Boris Johnson has the potential to be the best prime minister since the war. As a man who emulates Winston Churchill in his mannerisms and speech, Boris has proven himself to be a great orator and unifier. He draws admiration from all sides for his ability to deliver an exciting message in a charismatic manner. Utilise this, and he could win the next general election. Mobilise the English language, like Winston Churchill did during the dark days of the war, and he will win over Brits up and down the country. He needs to turn Brits against the European Union rather than against each other. He needs to direct the news stories towards focusing on a stumbling, unelected, drunken Jean-Claude Juncker, and away from fear-mongering stories about a no-deal Brexit. Pro-Remain Londoners need to cozy up to Boris the same way they did in voting for him for mayor, and Brexiteers have to throw their trust behind him. Defy the odds by managing that, and he could become the Prime Minister to deliver Brexit. If done in a timely and non-disastrous manner, he will undoubtedly secure his legacy among the greats. 

As he forms his new Cabinet appointing loyal Brexiteers and surrounding himself with Vote Leave Campaign veterans like Dominic Cummings, Boris is sending a clear message to Brussels. He intends to leave the European Union on time. As a result, there is light at the end of the tunnel. However, the road remains fraught and will be full of unpredictable twists and turns, as British politics has over the last few years. At this point, Boris Johnson is the Tory party and country’s only hope. Fail, and other pressing needs will continue to go unaddressed while the country gets more and more divided. Britain cannot afford this.

On behalf of the British people, or most of them, we wish him the best of luck.

Jeff Cirillo