Last night (Australian time), Boris Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary in Theresa May’s Conservative government over the continued obstruction of Brexit by certain members of the British Parliament. In his letter of resignation, he pointed out that he felt that the United Kingdom had in fact gone backwards since the prior meeting he held with Theresa May at Chequers in November.
I wrote two months ago that the House of Lords, which is mostly dominated by political appointments rather than aristocrats since Tony Blair’s “reforms”, was stonewalling Brexit, and commented that Theresa May had acquiesced to the electorate. From Boris Johnson’s letter, however, it seems that May’s supposed acquiescence was all for show when she has no intention of honouring the wishes of the British electorate.
Is Brexit dying? Boris Johnson seems to think so, and as such he has resigned from the Cabinet. His frustration seems valid, however, as many people in Britain and around the world not only share his frustration, but they observe how once again elitist forces are obstructing the wishes of the electorate.
Johnson himself wrote that it seemed that the United Kingdom is headed toward being nothing more than a satellite state, although he used the word “colony” in his letter. The ABC has suggested that there is a growing divide between Theresa May and her ministers, which could destabilise her position as Prime Minister further.
It is important to note that Johnson is not the only Cabinet Minister to resign over May’s hedge-betting regarding Brexit. David Davis, formerly responsible for the Brexit portfolio in the British Cabinet, resigned a few hours earlier, to which the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, commented that it was “unfortunate that the idea of Brexit has not left together with David Davis”.
Admittedly, as a Constitutionalist, I was always sympathetic to the idea of Brexit, because of the issues regarding the limitations of and encroachments on British sovereignty from the European Union. At this stage, however, with the resignations of two of the leading Brexiteers from the Cabinet, I have to say that I am quite pessimistic. The replacement appointed by Her Majesty (on the advice of Theresa May) to fill the Foreign Affairs portfolio is Jeremy Hunt, who campaigned for the Remain side, but now claims to support Brexit, according to CNN.
I was mistaken when I claimed that May was submitting to the wishes of the British electorate, and I suspect that Jeremy Hunt is just going to pay lip service as well. Regardless, Theresa May is in trouble with her party’s base, and will have to tread very carefully should she wish to continue as Prime Minister, lest she finds herself ousted by Johnson et al.