By Contributor Maria Afghanzada
In June of 2019, the United Kingdom’s second ever female prime minister, Theresa May, resigned from her position, giving way to quick elections made by Parliament to fill her position. Though May is technically still a member of the Conservative Party in Parliament, she was not allowed to help with the process of picking a new leader. This paved the way for Boris Johnson to step into the spotlight.
Like his predecessor, Johnson is very determined to finish the Brexit issue, declaring that, if it came to it, he’d leave the European Union without a deal by the new deadline of October 31st.
Though he seemed very strong when announcing this idea, Johnson now faces a tremendous amount of opposition from the majority of MPs–Members of Parliament– including his own Conservative Party members.
Dismissing twenty one of his own senior Conservative party members, Johnson has yet to fully face his opponents. Now MPs are on his back trying to get him to throw away his original campaign, and he faces hundreds of protesters all over the UK. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and many Brits are starting to consider Johnson a ‘dictator’ rather than a democrat after he decided to prorogue Parliament–that is, to discontinue (or suspend) the legislature without dissolving it–for five weeks; the decision showed many citizens that he was willing to delay his opponents from forming any type of counter-decision.
Many economists and MPs are begging Johnson to drop his impulsive proclamation, predicting that if he takes the UK out of the EU immediately following the 31st of October, the economy will dip dramatically and there would be many food and medicine shortages for the UK’s citizens.
After facing harsh backlash from many, Johnson is now cautiously seeking to discuss the issue with the European Union.
Though EU leaders and Johnson are speaking, they are seriously debating the topic of the Irish backstop. Ireland–currently a member of the European Union–borders Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. In an attempt to save the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended the sectarian violence around the border and established a co-operational government in Northern Ireland, the EU, UK, and the Republic of Ireland have agreed to a ‘backstop’ on the border. This would prevent hard checks on goods crossing the border, also protecting it from terrorist attacks.
Understanding the importance of this issue, both sides want to ensure a peaceful border, but have again come to disagree on how.
After extending the Brexit deadline multiple times, the European Union is very irritated with the same, persistent UK leaders. Finnish prime minister Antti Rinne, speaking with French president Emmanuel Macron, has announced that if Johnson doesn’t have a negotiable deal by the end of September, the ongoing debate of whether or not the UK should leave the EU would be “over.”
Until Johnson can prove he is fully aware of the risks of leaving the EU and can write an original, effective plan for his departure, the fate of the UK is indeterminable.
2019 Brexit Timeline:
June 7th ‘19— May officially resigned
Aug 31 ‘19— Johnson calls off parliament for 5 weeks, delaying his opposition from coming up with a plan to stop his no-deal departure from Brexit
Sept. 3 ‘19— Johnson is defeated by lawmakers in parliament (328 to 301). They are taking control away from parliament to make legislation on the 5th as to block Johnson from his no-deal plan. Johnson’s main demand from the EU is to drop the “Irish backstop” of trade that would continue even if/when the UK leaves the union. He also declared that he won’t be asking the EU from another delay from Oct. 31
Sept. 4-5th ‘19–Johnson’s calls for a snap election have been rejected by his opposition in parliament. Though he tries to fight parliament for his no-deal Brexit, he is getting equal resistance from MPs, including Conservative Party leaders. He has banished 21 of his party’s senior members including Sir Nicholas Soames (Winston Churchill’s grandson). Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and members of the Liberal Democrats also are attacking Johnson, saying he is trying to make decisions like a “dictator” rather than a democrat.
Sept. 9th ‘19– Johnson really dismissed Parliament for 5 weeks…
Sept. 16th ‘19— The talks [between EU and UK] are stuck on how to keep the border open between Ireland, which is staying in the E.U., and Northern Ireland, which would leave along with the rest of the United Kingdom. Officials on both sides of the border fear that if any border controls are imposed, it could reignite sectarian violence quelled by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Sept. 18 ‘19– The Finnish prime minister Antti Rinne and French President Emmanuel Macron have said that Boris Johnson must produce a negotiable deal with EU in two weeks, or “it’s [brexit] over.” (Brexit: UK).