What will remain of Boris Johnson? The attitude of him as a clown, which the British weekly The Economist puts on on the cover this week? Or, more likely, Brexit and its consequences?
Johnson did not invent Brexit, but his adhesion to the campaign leave, the one to “leave” the European Union on the occasion of the 2016 referendum, gave impetus and credit to a cause that was rather marginal. Brexit advocates like Nigel Farage weren’t taken seriously (perhaps wrongly) until Johnson put his full weight on the scales, scoring a resounding victory.
It matters little that Johnson promised “a bright future” once the UK broke free of the constraints of the European Union and that most of his promises turned out to be misleading. That choice changed the fate of the former mayor of London and especially that of the country, not necessarily for the better.
Can we already take stock of Brexit? Supporters of the exit from the European club say it is too early. However, last month a London think-tank showed that, grappling with the same problems as other countries (covid, climate emergency), the UK economy was harmed more than if the country had remained in the country. ‘Union. At the end of 2021, the United Kingdom had a GDP down 5 percent, investments decreased by 13 percent and trade reduced by almost 14 percent …
King of the illusionists, Johnson never recognized the cost Brexit imposed on the country, not least because he had rode the Brexit wave in his climb to the top of the Conservative party. And never mind if his promise of “Global UK”, of a United Kingdom that would go on to conquer the world, turned out to be slightly more complex than expected. The “Johnson system” was a lifelong stunt, until it no longer worked.
What will happen to Brexit after Johnson leaves the scene? A few days ago a statement by the leader of the Labor opposition Keir Starmer surprised everyone: “Let’s be clear, with Labor the United Kingdom will not return to the European Union, we will not re-enter the single market or the customs union. “. The aim of these words is undoubtedly not to rekindle a debate that dramatically divides not only the country but also British political families. But the statement also highlights that Brexit will not go away.
What can change, however, is the climate between London and Brussels or between the United Kingdom and the countries of the continent. Relations are very tense at the moment. Confidence evaporated after Johnson wanted to ignore one of the main clauses of the agreement negotiated with great difficulty by the two parties, the one that allows not to question the absence of a border in Ireland. Could this trust be restored with another prime minister? First of all, the wind of madness that has swept the Conservative Party must stop blowing. Only then, perhaps, can the ties be reconnected. Succeeding is in everyone’s interest.
(Translation by Andrea Sparacino)