Page 2 | 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: |
FellOutOfBed2wice Sat 25-Jun-16 20:13:37

I think this is probably very close to the truth. Something is rotten in the state of Westminster, alright. IMO Farage is the only one who wanted it- BoJo and Gove used his bandwagon to further their own cynical political ambitions.

Mistigri Sat 25-Jun-16 20:16:11

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

I don't think he's stupid at all; he is astute and cunning. But he is also a bit more of a gambler and a bit more impetuous than most successful senior politicians tend to be. It shows in his history of poor judgement in speech and in writing, and in the way that he has overreached himself here.

poochiepants Sat 25-Jun-16 20:16:50

I actually don't blame DC for chucking it all in, not many of us would willingly carry the can at work for such a big pile of.....and I love the OPs viewpoint. I hadn't thought about it like that. Poison chalice? Yes, it probably is. Will anyone really want that responsibility? Nah....I too think that Boris was just looking for a platform to raise his profile to statesman level (ish) and actually doesn't 100% believe this is a good move. It is Check, maybe not Checkmate just yet....but it is a great bluff that's been played on the Leave leaders.....

Muddlingalongalone Sat 25-Jun-16 20:17:19

This is why the radio silence from Gideon & why Gove took so long to show his face.

WhatsGoingOnEh Sat 25-Jun-16 20:19:51

but it is a great bluff that's been played on the Leave leaders.....

It is. Its also a massive two fingers to the UK, who ignored his advice about the EU.

Badders123 Sat 25-Jun-16 20:20:40

...and where the hell is Osborne!!?

Lunde Sat 25-Jun-16 20:22:05

I think this was about a power struggle in the Tory party - some of the MPs that hopped on the bandwagon did not really intend to leave the EU but more to establish credentials on the right-wing of the party.

But they got more than they bargained for and have to live with their choice - a correct move by Cameron to hand over to those who actually campaigned for it

WhatsGoingOnEh Sat 25-Jun-16 20:22:35

Osbourne must be out. It's telling how Mark Carney gave the reassuring speech to the markets yesterday, instead of Osbourne. Is that because Carney is much more trusted?

gnudiff Sat 25-Jun-16 20:25:42

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

I bet EU will not be accepting UK nominees for anything until it is clear whether Article 50 is going to be invoked or not.

Badders123 Sat 25-Jun-16 20:26:05

Must be.
I loathe DC but I must admit I am starting to admire him a little for throwing that pair of power hungry chinless wonders to the dogs grin

ThomasRichard Sat 25-Jun-16 20:26:45

Boris definitely didn't actually want to leave. Muppet.

Gove did but heaven help us if he gets to be PM.

Article 7 should have been invoked on Bulgaria and Hungary for their political mess.

LineyReborn Sat 25-Jun-16 20:27:24

I think Samantha said, 'Do it.'

Mistigri Sat 25-Jun-16 20:31:21

Osbourne must be out. It's telling how Mark Carney gave the reassuring speech to the markets yesterday, instead of Osbourne. Is that because Carney is much more trusted?

Carney as governor of the BoE is responsible for the functioning and stability of the markets, why this is surprising is beyond me.

It will be up to the new PM to choose his or her new cabinet including the chancellor. Osborne's preference might be to resign but it would not be wise - the situation is unstable enough as things are. I think he is correct to take a back seat and let the technocrats like Carney do their jobs.

littlequestion Sat 25-Jun-16 20:32:07

But why would DC have had to resign if there was only a narrow Remain victory? I think a win is a win so he'd have stayed in - so nothing in it for Boris.....

GrumpyOldBag Sat 25-Jun-16 20:32:23


WhatsGoingOnEh Sat 25-Jun-16 20:35:17

I meant it's surprising that the chairman of the Bank of England was the person giving the reassurance speech, instead of the Chancellor. It's usually be the Chancellor, wouldn't it, after a huge political event.

exWifebeginsat40 Sat 25-Jun-16 20:36:27

actually, where IS george osborne?

Mistigri Sat 25-Jun-16 20:39:35

But why would DC have had to resign if there was only a narrow Remain victory? I think a win is a win so he'd have stayed in - so nothing in it for Boris.

The referendum was designed to put to bed the divisions in the Tory party. To achieve this, it needed to be a clear "remain" decision (60:40 might have done it).

Boris's gamble was that the result would be a narrow victory for remain. In this situation, Cameron would have been weakened - his party unity gambit would have failed, and many Tory constituencies would have voted leave, leaving his pro-EU chancellor and presumed successor dangerously exposed.

All along, this has been about destroying Osborne's chances of succeeding Cameron, and delivering the party base to Boris.

WhatsGoingOnEh Sat 25-Jun-16 20:39:43

Osbourne has tweeted. :-/

DC won't be the new EU commissioner! They've already chosen Hill's successor, it's Valdis Dombrovskis, from Latvia, currently European Commissioner for the euro.

PreAdvent13610 Sat 25-Jun-16 20:40:29

There are liars and then there is fraud.
Treason is probably pushing it.
Are the Met looking into this?

PeppermintPasty Sat 25-Jun-16 20:48:27

Commander can you please post the link to the comment, i.e. Your OP?

Ginmakesitallok Sat 25-Jun-16 20:48:32

It's a shambles. No one has a clue what exiting eu actually means, or how it will happen in practice. There's no one who can lead the UK through this.

RiceCrispieTreats Sat 25-Jun-16 21:01:11

There's no one who wants to lead the UK through this.

They know it's a terrible idea.
They know that taking on the leadership of the Conservative Party now means offering up your balls to be nailed to the wall in Brussels.

RiceCrispieTreats Sat 25-Jun-16 21:02:46

...or admitting to the electorate that the entire Leave campaign, and everything the Sun and Daily Mail have ever written on the EU, was always a pack of lies.

Vixster99 Sat 25-Jun-16 21:02:49

I always assumed DC would resign if the vote was to Leave, but tbh I didn't really expect them to win.
I hoped Osborne would immediately resign too (I really cannot stand that man) I am now wondering if his silence is because he is contemplating standing for leader?

The referendum decision is not binding, which I expect is why Section 50 hasn't been invoked yet. Given the narrow majority and amount of venom the result has generated, everyone needs time to work out the best way forward.
Personally I think it may lead to a new round of negotiations for revised terms for staying in [we are a major contributor: can they really afford to lose us?] Unfortunately I don't think we have any really good negotiators - on either side & across all parties.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a general election within 6 months. I can't see the Tories getting returned to power, especially if BoJo is leader. Hopefully Labour will have managed to get themselves sorted out by then. I never expected Corbyn to lead them into the next election, but I thought he might have lasted long enough for a new leader to arise naturally rather than be parachuted in or promoted before they were ready for it.

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