Theresa May, the first after-Brexit Prime Minister, chose Boris Johnson as the Foreign Secretary. Still, in the U.K.’s structure that is not a dominant position.
The new Prime Minister has already made one of the most important decisions after assuming her post, choosing the people that is going to deal with Brexit’s consequences. In a rather assertive way, May picked many of the members of the new cabinet from the politicians that sold the “out” idea to the British people. She also appointed people that opposed the “liberating” measure to create a well-intended political balance. People like David Davis, Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd made it to the cabinet, but by far, the pick that created controversy was Boris Johnson as the Foreign Secretary.
Johnson is a man that lives up to his fame. He is controversial, radical, and charismatic, and loves using confrontational rhetoric, which explains people’s shock after hearing he was going to be part of the foreign relationships team. It could be too soon to judge, but based on how he has talked about people like Putin, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, it would be easy to understand the reaction. Johnson himself told the local press he was surprised.
The appointment could be seen as one of two things. First option, Theresa May believes from the bottom of her heart that Boris Johnson is going to do a terrific labor, or at least, he was the best possible option at the moment. But that could not be the case because historically, in countries where there is a President or Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary usually has little policy-making power. Instead, they act as some kind of universal ambassador speaking on behalf the cabinet.
The European Union is going to try and make an example out of the United Kingdom
If May granted Boris Johnson with a position of power within the new governmental structure, the British could start getting worried. The United Kingdom has little time to establish thousands of new agreements and pick an equal amount of laws not counting the ones they have to create. In the next couple of years, almost every decision taken by the cabinet is going to be polemic because Brexit promised a lot of controversial things.
The greatest challenge the new members of the cabinet are going to have is the “out” negotiation. This is where it gets tricky because the Brexit wasn’t presented as a peaceful, “let’s stay cool” solution. Instead, it was denominated by its defenders as an “independence” movement to liberate the country of the shackles imposed by the EU, and the fact that people voted “yes” put the European coalition against the wall, in fear of a chain reaction. Unfortunately for the British people, that does not benefit the biggest trade-market in the world.
A couple of days after the referendum, all the leaders of the European Union unanimously said “well, all right, leave then”. The European Council apparently met after the elections, and all the members agreed that as painful as the process could be, the United Kingdom had to leave the EU as soon as possible. In fact, they brought up Article 50 from the Lisbon Treaty. The document says that if a country from the coalition decides to withdraw, it has to let the council know of its intentions. Once it is official, the leaving member has as much as two years to establish the withdrawal agreement which “shall be concluded on behalf of the union by the council”. The deadline could be postponed if the European council unanimously supported the idea which it didn’t.
Johnson has insulted a lot of people, and now he has to be nice to them for his country’s sake
The out decision damaged both sides, but the U.K. will have the worst of it. Martin Schulz, one of the members of the European Council, said the chain reaction was not going to happen. He added that the U.K. had cut ties with the biggest single market in the world and that it was unlikely for other countries to follow that “dangerous path.” Manfred Weber, the Chairman of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament, said there could not be any special treatment.
“Exit negotiations should be concluded within two years at max. There cannot be any special treatment. Leave means leave,” Weber told in a statement.
In this regard, every single remaining member of the EU is working as a stable unit. They all regret the decision, but they all want the United Kingdom, and they want it now.
It is important to understand one thing. The United Kingdom is still part of the European Union until the two parties agree to the withdrawal terms. No, the representative for the leaving country in the coalition doesn’t have a say in any of the negotiations or meetings, or anything at all. Saying David Davis, the new Brexit Secretary, is going to have his hands full would be an understatement.
The new Foreign Secretary is going to deal with a lot of heat for his previous statements. Even inside the cabinet, some people have heavily criticized him in the past. Only time will tell if Boris Johnson is going to be a major figure in the country’s reformation, or if Theresa May just gave him the position as a publicity stunt to keep the Brexit supporters happy, among other things.
Source: News Max