Team Boris say strategy is ‘DUD’. They’ll be proved right.

by Luke Lythgoe | 04.07.2019

Boris Johnson’s campaign team say his strategy is “DUD” – “deliver, unite, defeat”. That means delivering Brexit by the October 31 deadline, uniting the Tory party and country, and defeating Jeremy Corbyn at the next election, reveals the FT

This DUD mantra came out loud and clear in Johnson’s latest column for The Sun. Unfortunately for Johnson, a dud is exactly what his fist at being prime minister promises to be.

He won’t “deliver” Brexit any time soon. Johnson thinks he can renegotiate a great new deal with the EU. But his proposals have been repeatedly rejected by European leaders. They won’t tear up the Irish backstop, Johnson’s alternatives have all been dismissed before, and any attempt to withhold our £39 billion divorce bill will be quickly called out.

What’s more, Europeans don’t take Johnson seriously. “You were never really sure what was a joke and what was government policy,” one ambassador told the FT. But it goes beyond simple bemusement: “Boris is despised in Brussels, they won’t give him even the tiniest fig leaf,” a UK diplomat told the paper.

So “deliver” essential amounts to crashing out without a deal on October 31. Good luck. MPs are poised to fight such an attempt with a vote of no confidence if needs be. As few as five Tory rebels could be needed to bring down the government, according to analysis by HuffPost today. 

Then we would probably be into a general election, or Johnson might want to head off the threat early by putting Brexit back to the people himself.

July 20th
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How does the “unite” part of Johnson’s strategy hold up amidst this mess? Not well. Attempting to ram through no deal will leave moderates in the Tory party aghast. Johnson’s former Cabinet colleagues – David Gauke, Philip Hammond, even Theresa May – are already publicly warning against it.

But pitching a new referendum will incense the hardline ERGers which have supported Johnson so far. Arguably, so would trying to sell a tweaked version of May’s deal. “If he double-crosses us, there will be a horse’s head in his bed,” a leading Tory Brexiter told the FT.

Even ploughing on to a general election would likely sicken Johnson’s fellow Tories – his leadership rival Jeremy Hunt called it “political suicide”. Unless, perhaps, if he managed to win. But doing so would likely involve a pact with Nigel Farage which would turn many Tory stomachs. And if Johnson did win and push through no-deal Brexit, the country would be divided further by the ensuing chaos.

It seems Johnson’s main tactic to “defeat” Corbyn – besides relying heavily on bluster and baloney – is to try and outspend him. The promises being made during the leadership race are making Labour look like “fiscal moderates”, according to former Tory chair Chris Patten. 

Either Johnson gets called out more effectively in a general election and his party loses, or his empty promises win the day and he fails to cough up down the line – thanks in large part to the economic hit of Brexit. That leaves him with an angry and even more disillusioned public, and national unity takes a hammering.

Johnson’s DUD strategy is setting the UK on an impoverished and divided path. Far better to say “no to Boris and yes to Europe”. That’s exactly what we’ll be doing in central London on July 20.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

2 Responses to “Team Boris say strategy is ‘DUD’. They’ll be proved right.”

  • Borisolini will cave in to that boorish pub bore Falange’s demands to allow smoking in pubs and restaurants.

  • Who writes this drivel? In case you have not noticed the opposition are in a worse state than the government. It looks likely that conservatives and brexit party would have all the seats they need for any type of Brexit they desire.