This is despite the fact that Boris Johnson, who many consider the favourite to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister, has repeatedly stated that he wants the UK to sever ties with Brussels, with or without a divorce bill. But just how will the situation pan out in the coming months? Sputnik spoke with Dr Connal Parr; Lecturer in History at Northumbria for more.
Sputnik: Will Boris Johnson win the Conservative Party leadership contest?
Dr Connal Parr: The last time I spoke with Sputnik, I predicted Johnson would win the contest, and the latest polling which was done by YouGov on Friday, suggested that he had a very commanding lead of seventy-four percent to Jeremy Hunt’s twenty-six percent, which would give him a landslide victory.
The situation after that the Conservatives will have delivered some form of Brexit in that situation, because Johnson’s committed to no deal, so they will deliver the Brexit that will keep their party together, and that will lead to them gaining a lot of votes amongst a large section of the British population.
Johnson is also a good campaigner; the problem that the Conservatives won’t be counting on then afterwards, is what the damage to the UK economy from a no deal Brexit will actually be, which is something that could be quite severe, and that might also shave off a lot of votes from the Conservative Party in a general election situation.
It has to be weighed up; but I think that the Conservatives, for now, will be very satisfied to see Brexit happening, and will think that it will put them in a good position to win a general election
Sputnik: Should the British government have negotiated Brexit differently from day one?
Dr Connal Parr: Essentially, Theresa May has taken a lot of flak and a lot of criticism for how she negotiated Brexit, because it was seen to be her and Olly Robbins essentially doing it, but there was always going to be a situation where the European Union was very battle-hardened in their negotiations, and in how they were approaching things, and there was a sense in which they had to for instance protect Ireland and ensure that there would be some form of a backstop to shield the Northern Irish economy from the effects of a no deal Brexit and from the effects of what this process would cause in Ireland.
You can’t really have too many counterfactual predictions here; you can’t really say this would have been different had the UK been tougher, it’s always been leading to this point, a situation where there was going to be that.
There was a huge negotiated document which came back between the UK and the EU and what’s interesting is that it may have been, when people look back on it because we are going to be heading into a very rocky period, for the first time for a lot of British people, they will wake up on the first of November to find potentially a lot of damage wrecked on the economy, and some shocks heading our way, and that they probably should have accepted a deal, that would have been a form of Brexit, and would have prevented against the worst effects of it.
Instead, there will be a form of Brexit, but we are going to have very serious consequences flowing from the withdrawal agreement, from the no deal agreement which is about to happen.
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.