Boris Johnson was elected head of the ruling Conservative party. This means that on Wednesday, former foreign Minister and ex-mayor of London will announce the Prime Minister of great Britain. Johnson was in favour of leaving the EU on October 31, even if it is not possible to negotiate with Brussels. However, it will inevitably face resistance from the Parliament and including resistance from his own party members who do not accept the “hard” option Brekzita. Discussing the prospects of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister with a French specialist in British politics, a Professor at the University of Picardy Sophie Lusern.
RFI: For Boris Johnson voted 66% of his party. Why it is so popular among rank and file activists-conservatives, but less popular among their senior members?
Sophie Lusern: It is popular among activists of the Conservative party, because he is very charismatic and confident. His indestructible optimism and exuberant energy, which give him the ability to convince. From 2001 to 2008 he was a Deputy from the district of Henley, from 2008 to 2016 mayor of London. He was nevertheless re-elected to the position of mayor. When it London successfully hosted the Olympic games. For two years he was Minister of foreign Affairs. And, by the way, caused a lot of controversy, sometimes making inappropriate remarks.
He will meet resistance in the House of Commons by his own fellow party members — former attorney General Dominika mane, the Minister of Finance in government Theresa may Secretary Philip Hammond, former Finance Minister Kenneth Clarke. They want to sink the idea Brekzita without an agreement.
Boris Johnson is no easy task, given the divisions in the country, considering the position of Scotland that wishes to remain in the European Union, given the problem of Northern Ireland.
Whether Boris Johnson is to face the same problems as Theresa may, given that he has no majority in Parliament?
I think he will behave differently. Will he be able to reach a compromise? It is quite possible. On the other hand, Boris Johnson announced during his election campaign and in speech after the announcement of the election results that he wants to increase spending on education, infrastructure, security, Internet technologies. He has a project for the UK. He wants at any price to bring the country out of the European Union, for which the British voted in a referendum on 23 June 2016. He does not want to prolong this process and want to implement Brickset until October 31.
Time is short. This Thursday MPs go on vacation until September 3. The European Union also goes into summer vacation. Time for negotiations is not enough. It is not excluded that this weekend he will invite Jean-Claude Juncker in his residence. And will travel to Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, giving the signal that he wants to “save the walls of the Kingdom.”
If not will rally even more opposition to his hard position on Brekzita?
Perhaps, the opposition will increase. And in this case it is not excluded that there will be organized a second referendum on Brucite. But with high probability we can say that the result is the same, and the majority of Britons would vote again for the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU.
As informs “bi-Bi-si”, opponents Brekzita and part of the conservatives opposed to “hard” Brekzita, can apply to Queen Elizabeth II, so she stepped in and requested that the European Union again delay Brickset. How such a scenario seems to you realistic?
Such a scenario is not realistic. The Queen never interfered in political Affairs, even during the referendum on Scottish independence. Then, going with a mass close to Balmoral castle (private residence of the British Royal family in Scotland RFI), the Queen called on to “think” about the consequences of voting. But it did not interfere in politics and will never do it. It is above political parties.
On the other hand, the MPs and the conservatives could unite with other political forces. For example, labour or the liberal Democrats, who recently elected a new leader, Joe Swinson, the first woman to hold the post. She’s 39 years old, she won the election and try to determine the role of the liberal Democrats. We now are witnessing the restructuring of the British political landscape.
Can we expect that with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister will change in Russian-British relations? Or soon it will be exclusively on Brekzita?
I think that the priority for Boris Johnson will be leaving the EU and negotiating trade agreements with the United States. I don’t think in the short term Russian-British relations will change. I think Boris Johnson will move closer to Donald trump, who congratulated him on his election and who supported his candidacy for the presidency of the Conservative party during his visit to the UK in early June.
Opponents often compared to Boris Johnson and Donald trump. In your opinion, such comparisons are the place to be?
Yes, that’s two populist who talk about love of country, put their country first and talk about the need to protect national interests, to regain control and grandeur of great Britain and the United States: “America first”, “Britain first”.