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Has Boris been outmanoeuvred?

(978 Posts)
CommanderShepard Sat 25-Jun-16 19:10:54

From a guardian comment:

If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.

Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.

With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.


Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.

And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legistlation to be torn up and rewritten ... the list grew and grew.

The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.

The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?

Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?

Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-maneouvered and check-mated.

If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over - Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession ... broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act.

The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poison chalice.

When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was "never". When Michael Gove went on and on about "informal negotiations" ... why? why not the formal ones straight away? ... he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.

All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign.

OP’s posts: |
scaryteacher Sat 25-Jun-16 19:21:00

The Gibraltar border is a great big fat red herring. The Spanish have always played silly buggers with it because they can.

I think Article 50 will be invoked, just on a different timetable to the one DC envisaged. He gambled on this referendum, and he lost. He cost himself his Premiership by not looking further than the end of his nose.

I bet Sam Cam was actually looking tearful because she is relieved she can go back to normal life now. I had read that was why he was stepping down in 2020 as that was the time limit she put on it.

Wonder of DC will go and be the new EU Commissioner now that Lord Hill has resigned.

Pangurban1 Sat 25-Jun-16 19:25:36

He certainly put the ball back into their court.

Mistigri Sat 25-Jun-16 19:26:42

The short answer is "yes".

Yesterday was payback time - Cameron reneged on his promise to invoke article 50 and chucked Boris a hand grenade with the pin taken out.

buffalogrumble Sat 25-Jun-16 19:29:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LineyReborn Sat 25-Jun-16 19:30:31

But Cameron did do that, buffalogrumble.

Alfieisnoisy Sat 25-Jun-16 19:32:36

It's just the opinion of one commentator that's all.

I voted to Remain but a greater number of voters wanted something different. It will still happen but at a slower time scale....even though the EU want us to pack our bags and fuck off grin

Important thing is that whoever takes over looks at the country as a whole and ensures the timescale for withdrawing is appropriate.

Joysmum Sat 25-Jun-16 19:40:19

It's a matter of timing. It would be damaging to the UK, EU and world to be invoking article 50 before a general consensus on what we want for our future has been reached. This means that those for remain need to make their voices heard.

This now isn't just about a yes/no vote, it's complicated and we'll see how Brexiters did so with differing visions for the future (contrary to the crap spouted that we are all racist and uneducated!)

Add into that the remain voters diluting the wishes of the likes of UKIP who want to control EU immigration meaning a free trade agreement would be impossible.

Make your voices heard Remain camp. It's more vital than ever that you do.

TooMuchMNTime Sat 25-Jun-16 19:41:29

OP great analysis
But boris is, as you say, not a dumb blonde. So surely he must have realised DC would resign? I was waiting for it as soon as the result was declared. I don't think DC should be stuck with a task he doesn't want.

For the record, I thought Boris was a stooge and that DC was more in favour of leaving! Today's silence is making me think they're cooking up the next step between them, and that might well be either ignoring the ref result and trying the Act of Parliament or possibly even a second ref. Or DC will step down and put a temp leader in place, I think that's allowed?

LineyReborn Sat 25-Jun-16 19:44:14

Boris didn't predict the result. That's the issue.

Mistigri Sat 25-Jun-16 19:46:52

Boris didn't expect to win, and he certainly didn't expect his old pal to call his bluff.

Cinnamon2013 Sat 25-Jun-16 19:48:11


according to a source, DC said 'Someone else can sort this shit out'.

I don't have the link unfortunately as OH just read it out from a politics blog. Believeable though!

LineyReborn Sat 25-Jun-16 19:49:57

I read DC said something like, 'I'm not doing the hard shit.'

Felascloak Sat 25-Jun-16 19:50:13

I agree OP.
I also think Labour are trying to trigger an early general election by changing leaders as well, so that they can campaign on the basis of us staying in.
BoJo and Gove don't want to actually leave, hence radio silence from them. I don't think any politician wants to invoke article 50. It's an unholy mess, I think we will end up staying in but god knows how much carnage will be wreaked in the meantime.

TooMuchMNTime Sat 25-Jun-16 19:51:54

Liney and MistI, that would make Boris sillier than I thought!

Perhaps now someone who is okay with the upcoming stuff - Liam fox or Theresa May will step forward. I still think there's something being cooked up that will surprise us.

howtorebuild Sat 25-Jun-16 19:52:07

BoJo was not expecting this.

chantico Sat 25-Jun-16 19:54:15

The start of the transfer process (whenever A50 is to be invoked) cannot wait until the Tory party conference. Negotiations need to begin now, as posts and functions are already beginning to change.

So DC needs to appoint a Secretary of State for Orderly Exit to the Cabinet. On Monday.

Felascloak Sat 25-Jun-16 19:55:12

Toomuch boris was gambling on a narrow remain victory imo. Then DC would have had to resign and he could have taken on the leadership. It's blown up in his face now.
Makes me so angry that the Tories have played fast and loose with all our futures for their own ends. DC should never have called the referendum, but did it to win the last GE. BoJo shouldn't have joined Leave but did it because he wants to be PM. Bunch of twats.

CommanderShepard Sat 25-Jun-16 19:57:29

Sorry - just to be clear, I didn't write it!

It might well be conspiracy theorist bollocks but Cameron has said that he will leave the invocation of article 50 to his successor, so I guess we take from that what we will. I suppose the Tory MPs could no confidence him and get the ball rolling more quickly, but that seems terribly unlikely.

I am as sure as I reasonably can be though that Johnson just wanted to be PM, not actually leave the EU.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyOldBag Sat 25-Jun-16 19:59:38

Actually David Cameron called the referendum.

He did not have to do that.

He did it to try and unite a divided party and further his own political ambitions. It backfired quite spectacularly.

His entry in the history books will be the PM who dis-united the United Kingdom as a result.

And he didn't stick around to clean up the mess he created.

Although I do like your opinion OP.

SpaceKablooie Sat 25-Jun-16 20:01:06

Just marking my place. BJ did look remarkably uncomfortable on TV.

Quiero Sat 25-Jun-16 20:03:37

I think you might be right OP. Something smells very, very off about all of this.

ApocalypseSlough Sat 25-Jun-16 20:06:59

I so hope this happens.

Badders123 Sat 25-Jun-16 20:08:31

Completely agree
Thought bojo and gove actually looked nauseous yesterday hmm

WhatsGoingOnEh Sat 25-Jun-16 20:12:10

Anyone else get the impression that the EU are actually glad to see the back of the U.K.?!

We've always been fussy buggers. Who knows if they're just not delighted to be rid of us, especially as they had no way to legally kick us out.

I posted this on another thread, but I think it's interesting: the only way that an EU member state can be removed is for its membership to be suspended. It can only be suspended under article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty, which states that a "breach of EU principles" can lead to a suspension of membership. The EU principles include democracy.

Ignoring the results of a referendum looks like the opposite of democracy to me.

So, if the UK doesn't invoke Article 50 soon, could the EU suspend us, by invoking Article 7?

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