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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.

TheNorthRemembers Sat 25-Jun-16 22:37:10

It was because, similarly to Farage, he saw the hedge fund exit polls. At 500K a pop, they all predicted remain to win. Apparently. I have not seen them. I would not like to be a pollster now...

TheNorthRemembers Sat 25-Jun-16 22:37:53

I mean £500K a pop.

TooMuchMNTime Sat 25-Jun-16 22:37:58

TheNorth, did they? They might have shorted the pound and made money.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Sat 25-Jun-16 22:39:11

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....
I don't think that would work. People expect him to clean up his shit now. Walking away is one thing. Walking away and expecting to come back at the time of his choosing will never wash. It's now or never.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Sat 25-Jun-16 22:42:53

I'm curious to know what is going on with Theresa May. I'm wondering if she's being held back as a relatively neutral, untainted potential leader for when the Tories need to renew themselves for a general election (perhaps sooner rather than later)

MitzyLeFrouf Sat 25-Jun-16 22:46:56

Oooohh fascinating thread. Something is clearly afoot at Tory Towers. Have they all descended to their Anderson shelter to weep and discuss where it all went so wrong? Would loved to have been a flt on the wall when Gove and Johnson realised they'd 'won' and that Cameron was going to send them up the swannee and leave them holding the grenade.

LineyReborn Sat 25-Jun-16 22:47:25

Why would she pick up Johnson's shitty stick, though?

PrincessIrene Sat 25-Jun-16 22:48:17

IDS and Salmond were both on Nick Robinson's BBC special talking about it last night. Definitely not 'hiding away.'

TheNorthRemembers Sat 25-Jun-16 22:48:46

"A bitter Mr Farage said he thought the UK had voted to stay in the European Union based on “what I know from some of my friends in the financial markets who have done some big polling”. From the Mirror

Mistigri Sat 25-Jun-16 22:49:37

May campaigned for remain, but she didn't get a lot of headlines. Will she want the leadership now?

stealtheatingtunnocks Sat 25-Jun-16 22:49:41

I'm mulling over the poison chalice thing.

We basically need a rebound guy. The daft fling that you need to massage your ego and regain some confidence after a big breakup.

We need a rebound leader of the Tories and I suspect that Labour are ready to move on from their Rebound Guy. Fallon can stay, he's alright.

LineyReborn Sat 25-Jun-16 22:50:58

Tomorrow's Andrew Marr show and the Sunday Politics will be interesting if they don't have these members of government on saying what is actually happening.

RepentAtLeisure Sat 25-Jun-16 22:52:33

Yes, I remember someone posting a photo on twitter of Boris pretty much saying they'd lost. He looked happier in that photo than he did after they won.

So essentially, what we're thinking is that Cameron is going to divert everyone's attention to his resignation and a leadership battle for four months, then dump a big pile of referendum shit on Boris's chair when he leaves Number 10?

mumsnit Sat 25-Jun-16 22:53:35

Ive just read the article op posted and immediately wondered who'll be playing DC et al in the forthcoming film grin

I do feel a bit better though knowing that its all kicking off for Boris and Gove now and that DC did have a Plan B after all.

LordRothermereBlackshirtCunt Sat 25-Jun-16 22:56:15

Liney, I'm assuming she'd run in a general election on a remain ticket and so Article 50 would never be invoked if she won. There would still be a fine mess to clear up, though, I agree. Maybe no one will want to lead the Tories now! It's not exactly the job that political dreams are made of.

RedToothBrush Sat 25-Jun-16 23:01:37

Someone bet £130,000 on leave at around lunchtime on Thursday. It was reported in the press (though I forget who reported it).

Up to this point the betting odds on Remain had narrowed since the You Gov poll was released at 10.30am. It reached a peak at about 12pm.

This was the point at which the 'exit polls' should have been hitting. Suddenly when this bet when on the odds on Remain lengthened.

The pattern on betting was that Remain was attracting larger bets (for little returns) versus very small bets on Leave (for large returns). Betfair said around 11.30am that the largest bet they had was £28,000 on remain.

This bet for £130,000 is odd in that it was definitely out of the pattern of betting.

Aaron Banks of said during the night on Thursday, they had been doing their own exit polling and the results were in line with that.

I'd love to know who placed that bet.... and whether they knew something.

littlequestion Sat 25-Jun-16 23:02:45

I like the suggestion unthread of a gen election with parties declaring if they would actually go through with leaving if elected ...but only UKIP would campaign to leave, surely...and would potentially get millions of votes

RedToothBrush Sat 25-Jun-16 23:07:29

My point being that, I find it surprising that Farage, Johnston, Gove etc were not made aware of this poll that Aaron Bank knew about...

...even if they were not part of the unofficial campaign.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 25-Jun-16 23:08:07

Article 50 is NOT going to be invoked by anyone

A weak negotiation is going to happen

TheNorthRemembers Sat 25-Jun-16 23:08:57

The effects of Brexit will definitely start to bite by Autumn, and we cannot have a GE before that, so the vote may be different.

I know where Osborne is. I have just realised he must be drawing up his emergency / punishment budget in a locked room. He must be on his way out, but let us face it who wants to be Chancellor now when there is even less money?!

Felascloak Sat 25-Jun-16 23:10:40

GE would be another gamble but ukip would need a huge swing to trouble the govt and it might be a price worth paying to avoid the reality of a brexit shitstorm

RedToothBrush Sat 25-Jun-16 23:10:47

Irony: We need Gideon.


TheNorthRemembers Sat 25-Jun-16 23:12:06

No more gambles, please [starts crying again]

puglife15 Sat 25-Jun-16 23:15:20

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....

I thought exactly the same. Scapegoat Gove or put unremarkable May in for a year or three. Just in time for 2020, if he can't get Gove out through a vote of no confidence after he's been heading up the Brexit shitstorm.

Or, he's waiting for the cabinet to agree NOT to invoke article 50.

Mistigri Sat 25-Jun-16 23:15:39

Article 50 is NOT going to be invoked by anyone

A weak negotiation is going to happen


For the UK to be in a strong position it absolutely had to invoke article 50 before the EU got a chance to say "well, what are you waiting for? Here's the door".

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