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How will Boris Johnson bring about Brexit?

It’s far from obvious how Boris Johnson, the man likely to be the next PM, will achieve his goals.

Boris Johnson  © ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
We'll leave, do or die, says Johnson. The latter might prove easier

The anti-Brexiteers' "Stop Boris" campaign has been "ferocious" of late, says Leo McKinstry in The Daily Telegraph. The "stitch-ups" have come in the form of the "shambolic BBC debate" when Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson was challenged on Islamophobia, and the "firestorm" over his row with his girlfriend, a controversy "stoked by apparently politically motivated neighbours" who passed their recording of the incident to The Guardian. Much of the damage is "self-inflicted", but the answer is not for "Team Boris" to hide their candidate away, as they had been doing. Johnson's "greatest assets are his charisma, his celebrity and his capacity to cheer people up". He is the only realistic deliverer of Brexit, and he needs to provide some "realistic answers".

So far, those answers have not been convincing. Despite his promise on talkRADIO that Britain would definitely leave Britain on 31 October, "do or die" (a sentiment shared by most Tory party members and the reason he will win the leadership contest, notes Allison Pearson in The Daily Telegraph), he failed to explain how he would "overcome the reality" that the majority of the House of Commons are opposed to a no-deal Brexit.

A timetabling headache

If Johnson has a timetabling headache, so do the Tory MPs threatening to bring down the government if their new leader attempts a no-deal Brexit, says Maddy Thimont-Jack on CapX. If they team up with the opposition and manage to get a vote of no confidence in the government passed, a 14-day period is triggered in which either the incumbent or an alternative government must win the confidence of MPs. If they don't, a general election will take place. There are a number of stumbling blocks with this procedure, but even if they were overcome, to give enough time for the 14-day period to expire as well as the 25 working-day campaigning period, a vote would need to be held the moment MPs came back from recess in early September.

EU leaders now think the UK will "crash out of the EU on 31 October unless the deal is ratified or the new PM calls a second referendum or election this summer", says Jon Henley in The Guardian. Should an early election be called, Nigel Farage has said he would be interested in "local coalition pacts" with the Tories to ensure a no-deal Brexit. Labour's Hilary Benn has demanded that Labour unambiguously back a second referendum, and deputy leader Tom Watson has said the party would "have to back Remain to survive". In the event of an election, we are therefore likely to end up with a new Tory government backed by the Brexit Party, or a pro-Remain Labour government backed by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.

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