General Election was always Boris’​ answer to Brexit

Just under a year ago, I wrote a post arguing that a UK General Election was the only way to resolve Brexit once and for all. It now looks like two Prime Ministers later, three so-called ‘meaningful’ votes and 12 months of negotiations, Boris Johnson and his Conservative government have finally come to the same conclusion.

The core argument remains the same. The UK parliament was never going to be able to bridge the democratic deficit of a second referendum, but a General Election would be a defacto People’s Vote under which Brexit could finally be put to bed based on the level of support for parties on either side of the argument.

Boris Johnson has always known this. That’s why from the first day he entered Number 10, he has been campaigning for a General Election.

For Boris it has never been about Brexit or the UK’s relationship with the EU. For him – ever since becoming London’s Mayor and his subsequent U-turn to support Brexit – it has always been about leading the Conservative Party and becoming Prime Minister.

Now his strategy is all about staying in power and for as long as possible. And he believes that his best chance of winning a majority in any upcoming election is to be seen as THE party to deliver Brexit rather than the Brexit Party.

He always knew and hoped the deal he struck with the EU would not get through the House of Commons, or at least on time, so he could force a delay without taking responsibility, blame all the opposition parties and grab the Brexit Party vote.

That’s why he failed to ask for a meaningful vote last Saturday and he is now using the failure to agree a timetable for the Bill as an excuse for an election despite the majority of MP’s voting in favour of the draft deal in principle.

He also knew that the EU would have no choice but to back another extension despite his calls to the contrary. This was the lesser of two evils for EU leaders, but a win-win for Boris.

Refuse to extend and Brussels would have been accused of supporting Boris and Brexit, while an extension is now seen by Brexiteers as the EU trying to undo the referendum of 2016. The EU was caught between a democratic rock and a hard place.

So, the EU will grant the extension, Boris will get his General Election, the UK opposition will get their People’s Vote and everybody is happy right? Boris certainly is.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.