Boris Johnson Can’t Deliver Trains, Let Alone Brexit


 I want to be the prime minister who does with Northern Powerhouse Rail what we did with Crossrail in London. And today I am going to deliver on my commitment to that vision with a pledge to fund the Leeds to Manchester route. – Boris Johnson 2019


The Guardian, April 2019



There are a few words of the English language that resonate with a particular tone of uncertainty when pronounced by Boris Johnson. In the context of Brexit, the words, “deliver,” “optimism,” “confidence,” “simple,” and, “prepared,” come to mind, but there are others.



 The doubters, the doomsters and the gloomsters, they are going to get it wrong again […] I have every confidence that in 99 days time we will have cracked it.

It is telling when Boris Johnson says that he has every confidence in an outcome or is optimistic about the future. It usually means that he has absolutely no idea what the future will hold and how it will be reached. Whereas some Remainers may be overdramatising – it’s only Brexit, after all – it does seem clear that the UK is in for a bumpy ride, especially if there is no deal. He insists that the Irish backstop must be removed before renegotiating a deal, but the EU has absolutely no reason to alter its position and will lose all credibility if it does. The UK will lose much more than credibility if it plunges into a no-deal. Check-mate, Mister Johnson!



It is of course vital that we prepare for the remote possibility that Brussels refuses any further to negotiate.

The degree to which the UK was prepared for the tough Brexit negotiations was clear to all when UK negotiator David Davis arrived in Brussels for the first round of talks without pen and paper.

As so eloquently put by The Independent, the Brexit secretary was well-prepared for something, but not what he was asked to do. Upon his departure to greener pastures, the paper shouted, 

Farewell David Davis, you were a visionary, prepared to look so very far beyond the boundaries of the legally possible.

For Mister Johnson, Brexit means “baloney” or “nonsense”. He has his very own personal opinion, which is his, comprising the fact that there is no better political party to carry out this baloney than his own under his leadership. They are the perfect match: a “nonsense” project carried out by a “balderdash” party. It represents the very best of British carried out by an Etonian clique. And let’s keep it that way – British. None of this continental intellectual and compassionate trash. Brexit and Eton go so well together, like egg and bacon. “Yummie in my tummy”, for Boris Johnson.



This election comes down to a simple choice: change, or more of the same.

Something is simple when it is not complicated and you only judge the complexity of a given subject after you have delved into the details of it – which, clearly, Boris Johnson has not done. What Mister Johnson and his friends do not understand is that a country needs a legal basis to be able to trade. This legal basis has been given by the EU for the last 40-odd years and comprises EU regulations as well as EU directives. The former are not part of UK law because they are passed at EU level and apply to all EU Member-States. Directives, on the other hand, must be incorporated into national legislation and thus exist in UK law. The problem is that the EU directives form a very small proportion of the EU legislation. A no-deal Brexit would thus cause a legislative nightmare.



We will […] come out of the EU on October 31st – no “ifs” no “buts”

Boris Johnson will certainly not do as Theresa May did, having learned from her mistakes. He says that he will deliver and deliver he will – even if it is a no-deal Brexit. He will set no red lines as she did, not call a general election as she did, and not delay Brexit once he realises that he is as stuck as she was.

In wanting the removal of the Northern Ireland backstop as a pre-condition for a renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement, Boris Johnson has laid out a red line that is thicker, longer, and more entangled than any of Theresa May’s red lines for which she was duly criticised. It only remains for the once president of the Oxford Union to call a general election in the hope of obtaining a mandate from the people, only to get stuck in the Brexit moras in the absence of a clear parliamentary majority, if he wins the election that is. Contrary to Theresa May, he will find the edge of the cliff and jump.

I don’t trust Boris Johnson to be capable of delivering any kind of Brexit apart from a no-deal. He will probably do so to avoid the personal humiliation that Theresa May went through. This is a personal quest for glory and nothing else.

Deliver Brexit, Mister Johnson? I don’t think so. Delivering trains as promised might be easier – but only just, by the look of things.