Monday, 4 July 2022 – 13:20

Leadership or Policy? The Debate Escalates

For weeks the scandal has spread, with no amount of damage control to tame it, the word is out; Boris Johnson is looking to swipe the Prime Ministers seat from under Theresa Mays feet, as concerns over Mays leadership becomes a major talking point and Boris Johnson looks ever more likely the dominant backbencher.

Boris Johnson over recent weeks has categorically denied any involvement in plans to out Theresa May of No.10, however, earlier this week up to 50 Conservative MP’s met to coordinate plans to topple Theresa May, the latest of many allegations against Johnson. Whether Johnson’s involvement is true or not, Johnson’s presence among the backbenchers is nothing short of permeating. Johnson has the ear of the media, making sure he is on every news channel and paper, for good or bad, publicity is one way to become a prominent public figure, along with Johnson’s resume; the Mayor of London, where he was not shy to do publicity stunts, as well as the Foreign Secretary, demonstrating his reach across many states, which becomes of great importance when faced with a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

On the other hand, Theresa May is yet to face any open challenges to her leadership, even Boris Johnson says “It’s not about the leadership… it’s about the policy”. What more can Theresa May bring to the table in Europe? Negotiations are clearly not going well, with only a few short months to agree on a deal that works for both parties, each battling for a Brexit that will benefit themselves and not necessarily the other. Can May ever come to an arrangement that isn’t ‘No Deal’ under these circumstances? With the Chequers plan failing on both sides of the Channel, wouldn’t she have done so already if she could?

Theresa however, also offers a more realistic ideal on how Brexit will play out in the long term. Years are likely to go by before the UK rebuilds it’s relationship with every state in the world, and coordinating trade deals with all of them, hence why a plan to join the EEA, as well as the common market, needs to be primarily established, to do this the UK needs a strong stance on a hard or soft border in Ireland. Alternatively, the UK could follow the Swiss example by opting out of both the EU and EEA, yet still keeping access to the Single Market, to set up the foundations to control trade. However, the Single Market does not have strict regulations on trade quantity or quality, meaning the UK would still have years or trade negotiations to be settled before the UK economy is likely to bounce back.

All negotiations could become fruitless without strong leadership, to maintain the UK’s position within the global market and international community when we come to leave the EU, as trade is likely to decrease, as well as investments from international businesses also likely to drop due to the high risk and uncertainty of the UK’s economic future which will would only pick up if the government, whoever is chosen, leads the UK into a more compatiable alliance with the rest of the globe, because we cannot continue our economic habits as a consumer state, without continuous investment.






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