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An IDIOT & BUFFOON blunders in to Brexit…


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: July 10, 2018, 05:33:57 pm »


from The New York Times…

EDITORIAL: Good Riddance, Boris Johnson

The resignation of Britain's foreign secretary could make it easier for Prime Minister Theresa May
to reach a more reasonable agreement on Brexit.


By THE EDITORIAL BOARD  | Monday, July 09, 2018

Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street in London last week. — Photograph: Andy Rain/European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.
Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street in London last week. — Photograph: Andy Rain/European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.

BRITAIN's foreign secretary and its chief Brexit negotiator caused quite a stir when they resigned within 24 hours because they considered Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit proposal too accommodating to Europe. But if her government weathers the resulting storm, their departures could help resolve the tortuous divorce negotiations with the European Union, which are approaching crucial deadlines.

This crisis took shape after Mrs. May summoned her ministers to her official retreat at Chequers on Friday and hammered out what she called a “responsible and credible” proposal far short of the clean break she previously mooted. Though details are still to come, the plan would have Britain try to enter into a free-trade agreement with the bloc by a “common rule book for industrial goods and agricultural products,” and accept partial jurisdiction by the European Court of Justice.

Not surprisingly, Mrs. May's chief Brexit negotiator, David Davis, a proponent of a “hard Brexit,” quit on Sunday, along with his deputy. The greater shock came on Monday, when the flamboyant foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, followed suit after declaring with typical cheek that selling the prime minister's Brexit plan would be akin to “polishing a turd.” Mr. Johnson had been a fierce advocate of a total break with the European Union, and during the Brexit referendum campaign he notoriously spread the false claim that Britain would save more than 350 million pounds a week if it left the union.

The resignations immediately set off speculation about more defections, the potential fall of Mrs. May's government and even new elections. All that could happen. But it is doubtful that hard-line Brexiteers in Mrs. May's Conservative Party can muster the 48 votes that party rules require to force a vote of confidence, much less the votes needed to force her into a leadership contest (in which Mr. Johnson would be a potential candidate).

A greater certainty is that Mrs. May cannot continue to spin her wheels on Brexit, as she has been forced to do by the sharp divide in her own party and government. Britain will officially leave the union next March, but for the exit not to be a total disaster for Britain, the two sides need to agree on a broad range of issues by October, including the terms of transition, customs arrangements and the basic shape of a future trade relationship. The deal, moreover, needs the approval of the British Parliament and 27 European Union members. Time is running out.

Deliberately or not, therefore, Mrs. May called the hard-liners' bluff at Chequers. Now if she survives the ensuing storm, she will no longer have to please Tories who ideologically oppose adherence to all of the union's laws and regulations. That does not mean an agreement with the union is imminent or easy. Mrs. May's new package is still far from anything the union can accept. And the hard-liners will not relent.

Yet an injection of common sense is welcome in a political fray that has defied all warnings, many of them from industries, of the enormous damage that would come from a break with the European Union, and especially of an abrupt and uncontrolled break. It raised the possibility of an extension of the Brexit deadline, and, among ardent opponents of a break, even hopes of a new referendum (rejected, for now, by Mrs. May).

“I can only regret that the idea of #Brexit has not left with Davis and Johnson,” tweeted Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council. “But … who knows?” A slight uptick in financial markets suggested a similar glimmer of hope.

President Trump, who arrives in London on Thursday, is unlikely to give common sense a greater boost, but … who knows?


__________________________________________________________________________

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/09/opinion/editorials/britain-brexit-boris-johnson.html
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