The greatest truths in life are the simplest and today Nigel Farage has clearly stated where his newly formed and electorally victorious (in May’s EU elections) Brexit Party stands. A great deal has changed since the spring of this year. The Brexit Party’s barnstorming victory in the EU elections ended up being the death knell on Theresa May’s ignominious career in politics. Likewise, it can be extrapolated that the Brexit Party’s victory not only led to the decline and fall of Theresa May but summarily led to the rise of Boris Johnson to the position of Prime Minister – a position Johnson himself had once said was he was less likely to attain vis-a-vis being “reincarnated as an olive”.
Thus far, Boris Johnson has talked tough on Brexit. When referencing the political “left turn” of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel in the 1840s, Benjamin Disraeli said: “The right hon. Gentleman caught the Whigs bathing, and walked away with their clothes. He has left them in the full enjoyment of their liberal position, and he is himself a strict conservative of their garments“.
In a great many respects, Boris Johnson has done the same when it comes to Farage and the Brexit Party. There is however an elephant in the room that Nigel Farage has today exposed beyond a shadow of a doubt. If Boris Johnson were to re-heat Theresa May’s thrice rejected withdrawal treaty in such a fashion that presents the treaty intact with the exception of the removal of the infamous Irish backstop, this would be considered ‘BRINO (Brexit in name only).
As such, if the EU is to agree on Johnson’s suggested ‘withdrawal treaty minus backstop’ and if Johnson then attempts to push this scarcely amended treaty through Parliament, The Brexit Party would challenge the Conservatives (and all other parties) in every constituency across the UK whenever the next general election comes.
If on the contrary Boris Johnson should seek an electoral mandate to deliver a WTO Brexit (sometimes referred to as a ‘no deal Brexit), Farage stated that the Brexit party would try to reach a mutual agreement to join forces during an election – likely in the form of an electoral pact in which the Brexit Party would stand against remain parties in certain constituencies whilst the Conservatives would do so in others (ostensibly in their safer seats).
This follows the advice suggested in Eurasia Future regarding the advisability of an updated coupon election to be held between Boris Johnson’s Tories with the facilitation of Brexit Party allies.
For now, it is largely up to Boris Johnson. If he secures a WTO Brexit, the Brexit party will remain on side and help him achieve victory in a forthcoming general election. If however Johnson insists on a re-heated May withdrawal treaty, he will face a strained electoral battle for the heart of Brexit Britain.