Boris Johnson, the impotent Prime Minister
It was announced on Tuesday that Boris Johnson is the new resident of Number 10, taking over from Theresa May.
I believe Boris Johnson will be an impotent Prime Minister.
Mrs May was faced with a tough arithmetic in parliament, but her successor will have an even harder time.
Indeed, following numerous defections from serving MPs, and the likely loss of two seats in by-elections, the Tory party’s small majority may well collapse.
This, coupled with the fact that within minutes of Johnson’s appointment as new PM the EU shot down his Brexit plan – indicating it has no intention of making concessions – makes the task of departing the EU with a deal in place close to impossible.
However, this impotency could potentially be Boris Johnson’s secret weapon.
In reality, the new PM has to do nothing to make sure no-deal happens by default on October 31. Following this, at the beginning of November, he will call an election claiming he has delivered Brexit.
This claim will secure votes from right wing Conservatives and Brexit Party supporters, whilst at the same time he will be making the most of a Labour Party with low poll ratings for its leader and making Lib Dem Brexit opposition and their call for a second referendum immaterial.
Mr Johnson’s impotency, which is driving a forthcoming hard divorce from the EU, will not only function politically, but should it go to plan, it may also work economically for the UK.
Of course, it is a major gamble, but one that Mr Johnson appears keen to advocate. A quicker exit from the EU may indeed lead to a surprise boost for the pound and the UK economy, as global and domestic investors obtain longed-for clarity before moving off the side lines and investing in Britain.
The significance of clarity for the markets and business must not be undervalued. We will now see whether Mr Johnson does what he said he would do or whether it will just be more Boris bluster. This would sink sterling further and dash investment aspirations.
As such, it looks as though that impotency will define Boris Johnson’s role as Prime Minister in the short to medium term. However, being the so-called impotent Prime Minister may well suit home extremely well both politically and economically. As long as his gamble works out.