Who is the UK’s new PM Boris Johnson and how does this affect America?
So Just who is Boris Johnson?
Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson as is his full name and he grew up as the eldest of four children. According to friends and family,
Boris grew up believing that life was one big competition and he wanted to come out on top. In fact, as a young boy he was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he answered, “I want to be King.”
The son of a diplomat, Boris was actually born in New York city. Later when the family returned to Britain, Boris attended many elite institutions. He went to the same all boys school as Prince William and Prince Harry. He attended Oxford alongside David Cameron. Even becoming President of the student union.
After college he became a journalist and was hired by The Times. He ended up getting fired from his post for fraudulently making up a quote in an article.
He then got a job at the Daily Telegraph and became its Brussel’s correspondent.
It was here that he set about writing articles ridiculing the European Commission, and though his fellow journalists felt he was a bit over the top, he actually started to make a name for himself. Very similar to Donald Trump, he began appearing on celebrity TV shows and soon became a familiar face and household name.
Boris Johnson is known for being rather unconventional and that along with his charm helped him be able to cross over party lines. This was never more evident in the fact that Boris Johnson held two terms as the Mayor of London. This was a big deal because it was the first time in more than a decade that a conservative had held the position.
He later returned to Parliament in 2015 and became the face of the new “Leave campaign.” After an unsuccessful run for No.10 Downing Street. He was asked by the newly elected Prime Minister, Theresa May to be her Foreign Secretary and in that case,Britain’s top diplomat. During his two years as the Foreign Secretary he ended up offending a lot of people. Boris is a man of force as well as faults.
In the BBC documentary an old classmate of his had this to say about Boris Johnson.
It is very interesting to note that before Boris Johnson became the new Prime Minister of Britain. He appeared in a documentary and was filmed as he traced back his family roots and bloodline.
When he was young he was raised by his “Granny Butter” and was told many stories about him having a famous ancestry. During the documentary he eventually traces his lineage all the way to King George II of England!.
Through different marriages he discovered he is actually connected also to all the royal houses of Europe including the Romanovs.
So now Boris Johnson is on to Brexit and history. And very much like our own President Donald Trump, Boris Johnson has become the most loved and hated man in his country. It does sound familiar doesn’t it?
Here is what Washington Times opinion editor Charles Hurt said on Fox news about the comparison with Trump and Johnson’s plans for Brexit.
Brexit issue and Britain today
How did Boris Johnson win the PM seat?
Through a vote of 2/3’s in the Conservative party Boris was elected and was tasked with his first very difficult task of fulfilling for the UK the Brexit deal.
When did the UK join the EU?
“The United Kingdom made its first application to join the European Union in 1961. It was quickly apparent that there was a danger of political isolation within Western Europe, Commonwealth states were rushing to do deals with the new bloc, and it had American support. This application was vetoed by the French Government in 1963 with a second application vetoed by the French again in 1967. It was only in 1969 that the green light was given to negotiations for British membership.
The United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community (as it then was) on 1 January 1973 with Denmark and Ireland. This proved controversial at the time. The Labor party initially sought renegotiation of membership.
This was toned down to requiring a referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain part of the Community. This referendum was duly held in 1975 with a 67% vote in favor of continued membership.”
So why now do the British people want to leave the EU?
- The MP’s and elected government officials are finding that they have less and less power in their own country to make changes that their constituents are asking for. So, this severely affects the will of the people and their freedoms to vote on their own countries issues and solutions.
- One of the major concerns is the growing cost of being in the EU has been mounting each year for the UK.
Open Borders is the other highly contended issues since now the EU can decide for countries how many migrants can come into a country without knowing if that country’s system can handle them.
Two ways for Brexit to go are either a ‘Soft’ or ‘Hard’ exit strategy. Here is the break down for what this means from the website
What is Soft Brexit?
Brexit can take many forms. Different forms should be envisaged as a spectrum with ‘Soft’ and ‘Hard’ being two possible points on it. When people talk about Soft Brexit they are referring to a scenario where the UK stays stay either within the EU’s Single Market by becoming a member of the European Economic Area (like Norway), or in the European Customs Union, or both.
If this happened, the short term economic impact of leaving the EU would likely to be small. However, if it remained in the Single Market, the UK would have to maintain free movement of EU citizens, it would remain subject to judgments of the European Court of Justice and it would have to contribute to the EU budget.
If the UK remained in the Customs Union it would be unable to strike its own trade deals with other countries. It would benefit from all trade deals signed by the EU. However those EU deals signed after Brexit would be negotiated without any UK input.
What is Hard Brexit?
Brexit can take many forms. Different forms should be envisaged as a spectrum with ‘Soft’ and ‘Hard’ being two possible points on it. When people talk about Hard Brexit they envisage an agreement where the UK would leave not only the EU but also the EU’s Single Market (of which non-EU countries are also members) and the EU Customs Union (of which non-EU countries are also members). The UK would instead aim to secure a free trade deal with the EU, ideally covering both goods and services.
In a Hard Brexit situation, the UK would not have to sign up to free movement of EU nationals, or be subject to the European Court of Justice. It would probably not have to contribute to the EU budget. It would also be able to sign free trade deals with other countries. However, the UK is unlikely to be able to sign a free trade deal with the EU or other countries before it leaves the EU in 2019 – negotiating trade deals usually takes many years.
Here is a short BBC news clip that ran in the UK in 2015 right before the 2016 Referendum vote and you can see these issues laid out by Suzanne Evans (UKIP)
A similar video opposing leaving the EU was made as well by the opposing party. We know how the vote went….
- Majority voters from the UK and Wales voted to leave in the 2016 referendum.
- 62% of voters Scotland voted to stay in the EU
- while in Ireland things are more complicated: Examining data from the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly election study, conducted close to the time of the referendum, it emerges that there was a very strong ethnonational basis to voting. It seems 85% of Catholics voted Remain, compared to only 40% of Protestants.
- The differences are even starker when one considers how the respondents described their own ideological position and identity. Of those who identified as nationalists, 88% voted Remain, compared to only 34% of those who described themselves as unionists. And 87% of “Irish” respondents voted Remain compared to only 37% of “British” respondents. That said, voting was not only ethnonational. Both Protestants and Catholics were split – though Protestants were much more polarised.
Due to claims that Boris was not elected by the people but was brought in by the Conservative party to get the Brexit Deal done, which the majority of the UK voted for in 2016, a question has come up about whether there will there be a general election and a 2nd referendum vote in the UK? This is a complicated issue with many thinking that since it has been 3 years since the vote for Brexit many want to have a second vote again to see where the people are and also to have a general election to see if the UK people want Boris as their PM.
So either way Boris Johnson has a huge and difficult job ahead of him but most believe he is the right man for this job. Our main question is how this affects America and how will our two countries regain our Special relationship status that seems to have waned over the years..
Many in the UK and US are excited about Boris since they feel he will be able to work well with President Trump here is a short clip from Niles Gardner from the Heritage Foundation speaking to Fox about how he sees this relationship with Boris in office.
We will keep watching and hoping for good things from the UK as they go through this difficult stage in their country.
What do you think about the new UK Prime Minister? Leave a comment below.)