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Will Boris’ Brexit Break Britain
As the fight over Brexit heats up in Great Britain and a deadline of October 31 looming for the country to leave the European Union, Associate Professor Glyn Morgan offers insight on what the future may hold. He is predicting that there will be a no-deal Brexit that may spur Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales to leave the United Kingdom.
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His commentary is as follows:
“The problem facing Brexit opponents in Parliament is less time than numbers. The UK Parliament remains a deeply-divided House. The principal cleavage in British politics—Leavers v. Remainers—splits Johnson’s own party as it does Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition. Every Brexit-related parliamentary vote now teeters on a knife-edge. No one can predict whether Johnson will have any more luck in securing a majority for his plans than did his hapless predecessor. That’s partly why the smart money is now on another General Election, which will be the third in four years.
The other important news of the day will have done little to bolster Johnson’s electoral prospects. Ruth Davidson, the charismatic leader of the Scottish Conservative Party—on whose votes Johnson crucially depends—is reported to be on the verge of resigning. This is a big blow for Johnson. Without Davidson, Johnson must fear a collapse in votes north of the Border. Even more worrying, Davidson might provide the charismatic leadership for the Remainers that Jeremy Corbyn, a closet Leaver himself, has been woefully unable to supply.
The root of the conflict between Davidson and Johnson concerns the future of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales in a United Kingdom shorn of EU membership. The paradox here is that EU membership provided some of the glue that kept these three countries together in a Union with England. Both in Scotland and Northern Ireland, there was no majority in the referendum for Brexit. (The same holds true for the Welsh-speaking region of Wales.) In choosing to forego any form of “Soft Brexit,” which would see the UK retain a close trading relationship with the European Single Market. Johnson and his clever Machiavellian Chief of Staff, Dominic Cummings, have chosen to pursue a course of action that is likely to yield a Halloween crash-out ‘no-deal” Brexit.’
“The danger is that such a big break with the EU will lead to the break-up of Britain.”