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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.

PlatoTheGreat Sat 25-Jun-16 21:53:33

Agree with Rice
it is doubtful that other EU countries will want to make any effort at all with the U.K., especially after spending already YEARS trying to keep Britain happy and giving them 'special treatments' that no one else ever got.

A lot of people in the EU actually think France should have stuck to their first stance of vetoing the entrance of the U.K. Into the EU...

mouldycheesefan Sat 25-Jun-16 21:55:06

Gove and Johnson were not sheepish and scared they were attempting to appear magnanimous, statesmanlike and somber. This is the day they have been waiting for but they can't be too cock a hoop when the PM has resigned and 48% of nation voted against the outcome.

PlatoTheGreat Sat 25-Jun-16 21:55:47

neolara even though the idea of joining a part that you don't like doesn't sit well with me, I can see your PoV.
Depending on how each election is going to go, these will decide the future f the UK in a way that this referendum didn't.
And people will not have their say unless you do what you have just said.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Sat 25-Jun-16 21:58:47

Surely the danger of a GE is that UKIP could potentially do extremely well at this particular moment?

MuddhaOfSuburbia Sat 25-Jun-16 22:00:06

This is the day they have been waiting for

ah but have they

Nick Cohen (I think- amongst others) has got them down as chancer journos who neither wanted or expected this result

Badders123 Sat 25-Jun-16 22:00:22

I don't think there is any doubt that ukip will do very well at the next GE

LineyReborn Sat 25-Jun-16 22:01:54

Ukip will split the Tory vote.

puglife15 Sat 25-Jun-16 22:04:24

I thought exactly that. Boris got what he wanted with Cameron gone, but he doesn't want to get his hands covered in Brexit shit. Hence the very clever silence right now. The evil bastard.

I'm not sure Corbyn did fuck all, all the media coverage was focused on Tory remain and Tory leave. The media don't want Corbyn and he can only do (or appear to do) so much without them.

RedToothBrush Sat 25-Jun-16 22:10:30

Its gone dead quiet today hasn't it?

hownottofuckup Sat 25-Jun-16 22:10:52

That is why I want to make clear that the Liberal Democrats will fight the next election on a clear and unequivocal promise to restore Britain’s prosperity and role in the world, with the United Kingdom in the European Union, not outside it.

From Tim Farron - interesting.

Muskey Sat 25-Jun-16 22:11:46

Finally op someone who agrees with what I have been saying for weeks. David Cameron tried a political manoeuvre that has badly back fired on him as well as Borris and even managing to drag Jeremy Corbin down with him. Hats off to DC I never thought he was that good a politician. There are two things which amaze me about all this. At the last general election "the ordinary voter" wasn't clamouring for a referendum and yet DC gave it to people on a plate. Also how many people who are now bitterly complaining about the result voted DC in the first place.

GhostofFrankGrimes Sat 25-Jun-16 22:14:06

Anyone else worried that PM has essentially gone AWOL? We will have a political vacuum until October.

NigellasGuest Sat 25-Jun-16 22:15:43

Duncan-Smith is also very quiet.
He was giggling away on the BBC election night coverage, not expecting to win. He's probably thinking Oh fuck, too.

RepentAtLeisure Sat 25-Jun-16 22:21:57

Can David Cameron string this out till October though? PMQs will be interesting!

InShockReally Sat 25-Jun-16 22:23:04

Well at least this thread's given me a bit of empty hope before trying to sleep better than last night, so thank you for that flowers

puglife15 Sat 25-Jun-16 22:24:11

Cameron seemed to have checked out months ago from what I've seen. I thought that when I saw his appearance on Question Time. He looked knackered and bored and, like, totes over it all.

RepentAtLeisure Sat 25-Jun-16 22:24:11

I wouldn't put it past DC and GO to basically sulk for four months, no.

ObiWanCannelloni Sat 25-Jun-16 22:25:51

And Johnson playing cricket all day today then. Because you wouldn't want to start dealing with consequences now, would you ...
A Times journo has suggested we refer to BJ as Johnson now as "Boris" and "BoJo" are reinforcing the nice, cheeky chappie isn't he a great guy myth....
I wonder whether he will actually sit out this leadership challenge, let someone else pick up the shitty stick and take the flak until kicked out, while he continues his media campaign on the side, ready to swoop in later when the jobs a bit easier....
But on balance, think his raging ambition will mean he can't help himself and will run....

TheNorthRemembers Sat 25-Jun-16 22:26:45

I so agree with you OP. It is very well put.

Boris looked ashen at the press conference, like a death in the family. I do not like him, but was quite concerned about him.

I was jokily texting DH "Boris must be keeping DC locked up to stop him from resigning", when Cameron came out and resigned. I truly despise that vile man for the destruction he brought upon us (not just now but over the years), but I cried my eyes out - as he was at least throwing the even more vile Gove and Johnson under the bus as well.

I agree that for Continental countries it is not only about the money. My ILs keep banging about how good it was in 1940 when we were standing on our own and defeated Hitler on our own. I need all my willpower not to say that nearly 20 million Soviet and God know how many US soldiers died so that we can have this stupid conversation, but hey.

Osborne must be in the bunker where Dick Cheney was hidden after 9/11. But seriously, I do not think he would stand to be the leader now, he is not that stupid. I think they are all (Gove, Johnson, Osborne) together somewhere trying to work out WTF to do now. Possibly very drunk as well.

Only Farage is available 24/7, as he is totally cut off. Turned into a chatshow host. He can't even get into the Parliament, as he can't get himself elected for love or money.

slamdunkthefunk Sat 25-Jun-16 22:27:50


actually, where IS george osborne?

I think he's being sick in the toilets.

stealtheatingtunnocks Sat 25-Jun-16 22:32:51

Tell you who else is AWOL, Alex Salmond.

With all the talk of aNOTHER referendum in Scotland, and there being hundreds of SNP MPs, and AS being a bit of a media whore, I kind of expected him to be bigging up Nicola.

Seems odd.

TheNorthRemembers Sat 25-Jun-16 22:33:26

Johnson also seemed to have got the wrong speech on the Friday. He thought he was on the remain team and won: we will be more European now, we'll learn languages (WTF?), we love young people.

Johnson went, in the space of 3 months, from this cool guy, the darling of the metropolitan elite, to be hostage to a totally different demographics.

Vixster99 Sat 25-Jun-16 22:33:35

I think Osborne is doing the rounds of all his City contacts, trying to find his next job wink

RedToothBrush Sat 25-Jun-16 22:34:51

Boris looked ashen at the press conference, like a death in the family. I do not like him, but was quite concerned about him.

Did you see the photo of him on the Tube on twitter, saying about losing that came out about 11pm...

It was ODD.

TheNorthRemembers Sat 25-Jun-16 22:35:37

Or shore up the partys' finances? Their biggest donors lost toms of money in the past few days.

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