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    May’s Initiative to Not Compromise on Brexit Shows Strong Leadership – Scholar

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    Downing Street has hit back at Boris Johnson's statements on Theresa May's Brexit plan, saying that the UK needs “serious leadership with a serious plan.” Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the former foreign secretary called May's Chequers proposal "a disaster". Sputnik discussed this with political commentator Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos.

    Sputnik: Theresa May's Conservative Party, as we know, is already divided by Remain and Leave supporters. How are the latest Boris Johnson comments going to exacerbate and impact the division within the ruling party now do you think?

    Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos: Boris Johnson resigned as foreign secretary in a way to put pressure on Theresa May; his resignation was a tactical one; by resigning his hope then is that it will eventually encourage the right of the Conservative Party to call a vote of no confidence in Theresa May in the hope that Theresa May will lose the vote and there will be, therefore, a leadership contest in the Conservative Party, which could open the door to Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson is laughed at, at home and abroad, however, he's very popular amongst grassroots Conservative supporters and members, so certainly his latest outburst is going to put a degree of pressure on Theresa May, and it shows that he is aiming for the top job and we are only a few weeks away from the autumn party conference season in Britain, and I suspect that the star of the Conservative conference is going to be Mr. Johnson and not Mrs. May.

    Sputnik: How justified were Boris Johnson's remarks on May's Brexit proposal? What's your take on them?

    Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos: Boris Johnson is perfectly entitled to his opinion and is perfectly entitled to express his opinion; however, we need to be reasonable. Theresa May, whilst not having, in my opinion, leadership skills, is in a very difficult situation, this is uncharted waters for Britain, and if Jeremy Corbyn was prime minister he would be faced with a herculean task. It's very easy to criticize when you're not actually in the position of having to decide on a certain route and, of course, the certain route I'm talking about is what kind of Brexit Britain will have with the EU. My own opinion recently is that Theresa May's insistence that she will not compromise is something to be applauded; what that constitutes is strong leadership and Britain needs strong leadership, even if you don't agree with her agenda, with the Chequers agreement, at least you know where you stand with it. For the last two years we have seen Theresa May, we have seen the Labour opposition, diverging over what kind of Brexit there will be in the end.

    READ MORE: May Strikes Back: UK PM Launches Scathing Attack Against Boris Johnson

    Sputnik: How likely is it that some sort of consensus will be reached between Brussels and London by the set deadline?

    Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos: Whatever deal there is it will still be uncharted waters for Britain. The most important thing is for there to be some kind of deal, I don't believe that there will be no deal. Even Theresa May's most ardent critics will tell you privately that there does need to be a deal, but, nonetheless, they're putting pressure on her because even though March 2019 is not that far away it still gives plenty of time for the right of the party to try and influence her, to try and put pressure on her, so Britain is going to leave the European Union next March and I do not believe it is conceivable that Britain will leave the European Union without a deal. The Chequers agreement — I would say there's satisfaction with the Chequers agreement, there's always going to be criticism of it, but I would say the general feeling is that it's okay.

    Sputnik: Do you think that the European Union is also getting very heavy hearted in terms of what's going to happen, because there's a lot of pressure on the European Union as well to come up with a deal, it's nearly as much of a disaster potentially for them as well, isn't it?

    Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos: Yes, I concur with you. The European Union does want to come to a satisfactory agreement with the UK. Yes, the negotiations between the UK government and the European Union are raucous, there's no question about that, they are raucous, they are tense, but progress has been made and we do have quite a few months left for these discussions to continue, and for Britain, yes, it's true what you've said, the European Union does not want to lose a substantial amount of revenue, which it has each year through trade with Britain, but ultimately if there's no deal both will suffer, but Britain will suffer more.

    The Chinese regard Britain as a bridge to Europe for them to export their goods from Britain onto the European mainland without paying tariffs; now if that is jeopardized, if there's no deal, if there's uncertainty, that's the worst situation, so if the Chinese are uncertain after March 2019 because there's no deal, then there is a very strong possibility that they could start moving their investment out of Britain, redeploying it in countries like France or Germany.




    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Dr Connal Parr and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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