Boris Johnson, an Election Win and a Wall of Doubts
EVEN JUST before Boris Johnson was chosen on Tuesday to be the United Kingdom’s next prime minister, he was being warned by some of the most senior members of his own party about the dangers of Brexit, and in particular his threat to pull the country out of the European Union without a withdrawal deal.
On the eve of Johnson’s widely anticipated victory in the internal vote among Conservative Party members, Alan Duncan quit as Foreign Office minister, telling the BBC that Johnson’s “fly by the seats of his pants, haphazard” style would see him run “smack into a crisis of government” over Brexit.
The criticism was particularly stinging given that Johnson, a former London mayor and foreign secretary, had been Duncan’s boss in that latter job. At least two other senior ministers, including Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer – the cabinet minister in charge of the British economy – were also due to step down because of their opposition to Johnson’s promise to deliver Brexit.