Boris Johnson and the Coming Brexit Train Wreck
The next step in the Brexit saga is selecting a new Prime Minister to replace Theresa May, who will stay on until a successor is chosen. The Tory Party has that honor and the clear front-runner is Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London, known as an entertaining "Eurosceptic". The Economist has a great description:
The Economist: "The former foreign secretary is the overwhelming favourite among party members, who elect the leader. His only obstacle is persuading enough of his fellow Conservative mps to put him on the shortlist of two. So far they have been sceptical. The charge sheet against Mr Johnson is a long one: a chaotic private life, a habit of bending facts, a lack of focus and discipline, and being what Sir Max Hastings, a former editor of the Conservative house journal, the Daily Telegraph, calls a “gold-plated egomaniac”.
Over the last few days, Johnson has said that if selected, he would leave the European Union in October with or without a deal. His hard-line "leave" position probably reflects a slight majority within the Tory Party after May's resignation, but more moderate voices caution against such an extreme position. May's justice secretary David Gauke and her international development secretary Rory Stewart both condemned Johnson’s recent statements and warned of the consequences of a "no-deal Brexit."
The Guardian: "In a clear attack on Johnson, Gauke, writing in today’s Observer, warns that candidates who fail to acknowledge the “enormously harmful” effects of crashing out of the EU will fuel populism and risk doing untold harm to the economy and national interest."
“All those that do have such aspirations have a responsibility to set out their approach to Brexit, which is anchored in the hard realities of the situation. We should not pretend that leaving the European Union without a deal will be anything other than enormously harmful to our economy, weaken our security relationships and threaten the integrity of the union,” said Gauke."
And, the research backs up Gauke's warnings.
Financial Times: "A no-deal Brexit will inflict substantial economic damage on the UK and the rest of the EU, according to a study that suggests Britain and Ireland will be the hardest-hit countries in such a scenario."
"The paper, to be released by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation on Thursday, estimates that the UK alone will suffer income losses of €57bn a year if it leaves the EU without a deal. The rest of the EU will lose €22bn — almost half of which will fall on Germany, Europe’s largest economy and a big exporter to the UK."
The Tories are still likely to pick Johnson and the UK's Brexit nightmare will continue.