Boris Johnson heads to Downing Street – let the rollercoaster ride begin!
PUBLISHED: 14:32 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 07:31 24 July 2019
Boris Johnson’s confirmation as the new leader of the Conservative Party and from Wednesday lunchtime as Prime Minister may be the end of a political chapter – but it’s unlikely to immediately usher in a new era of stability.
And while it is inevitable that organisations in this region will have their own priorities they will be pressing to him, the fact is that Mr Johnson is likely to have a one-track mind for the next few months . . . sorting out Brexit.
Nothing else is really likely to worry him too much. The Iran tanker crisis might distract him for a few minutes - but all his attention will basically be focussed on getting out of the EU.
The fact is even his most fervent supporters accept that Mr Johnson isn't a politician that does detail. He's someone who sees the "Big Picture" and expects others to get on with the nitty-gritty. In that respect he's the polar opposite of Theresa May.
So those looking for government financial support for new infrastructure or new funding for policing or more doctors would probably do better to lobby the new Chancellor or departmental ministers after they are appointed rather going to the Prime Minister himself.
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But as he concentrates on Brexit he faces serious problems. A clear majority of MPs are opposed to a "no deal" departure from the EU and can make it very difficult for him to force that through the House of Commons.
Mrs May had her "awkward squad" made up of hard-line Brexiteers. Mr Johnson will find out he has his own "awkward squad" made up of former ministers and others who are keen to avoid a "no deal" Brexit at all costs - and are not constrained by personal ambition.
And while no one doubts his commitment to withdraw from the EU on October 31 come what may, no one knows what he will do if parliament blocks a "no deal" Brexit.
If he tries to push for a "no deal" Brexit without it being passed by parliament, it is even possible he could face defeat in a no confidence motion - and can he guarantee the support of all his MPs in that case?
Which means will there be a quick general election, either forced by MPs or called by Mr Johnson in a bid to strengthen his position? Hold on to your hats. It could be that the political rollercoaster has only just reached the top of its ride!
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