Boris Johnson’s ‘Battle for Brexit’ has begun.
The stakes are high: For his plan to succeed, he needs both Parliament and the EU ministers to buy into the notion that it’s either this deal, or no deal. But as he tries to sell the deal, Johnson is discovering that more MPs share his concerns that Brexit might never get done, and that it’s time to put it to rest for good. Even though many in Parliament remain skeptical.
Once again, the DUP will leave another Tory prime minister hung out to dry by opting to vote against the deal. For Johnson, this must be an especially painful disappointment, since the DUP and its leader, Arlene Foster, had sent some signals that they would reluctantly back his ‘imperfect’ plan if he could sell it to Brussels.
EU ministers voted to unanimously back the deal yesterday after Jean-Claude Juncker had given it his blessing. Now, Johnson is turning his attention to an even greater obstacle: Parliament.
His predecessor, Theresa May, infamously tried – and failed – to pass her withdrawal agreement, which preserved the hated Irish Backstop, three times. Johnson only has one chance if he hopes to both take the UK out of the EU with a deal while avoiding another Article 50 delay. Because although French President Emmanuel Macron again made some noises about refusing to support another extension, few doubt that the EU would if Johnson was compelled, by law, to ask for one.