Britain needs political stability


The spectacle of Boris Johnson’s torturous political demise has shone a light on the eccentricities of Britain’s political system. From Monday night until this morning – when it was revealed he finally intended to step down as prime minister – the airwaves were punctuated with ministerial resignations upon resignations as his government was gradually whittled down to power. essential. As Mr Johnson stood firm and refused to leave, the archaic-sounding Tory Party-sounding 1922 committee of MPs were mobilized to make sense of it. There has even been talk of Queen Elizabeth having the final say on whether or not she will stay at 10 Downing Street. Britain seemed locked in a constitutional quagmire: stuck with a Prime Minister no one wanted but no one could get rid of.

Now it was barely a moment of January 6th. There was no violent march on the Houses of Parliament. And Mr Johnson gave a (mostly) gracious farewell speech this afternoon, which we have yet to hear from Donald Trump.

But it’s important to remember how unedifying the past few days have been – and not just for the UK but also for the rest of the world. Britain still plays a key role on the world stage. Mr. Johnson himself demonstrated this through his forceful engagement in the Ukrainian crisis and his enthusiastic participation in the recent G7 and NATO summits. Britain may no longer be a member of the EU, but that has instead strengthened its relationship with the rest of the world as it seeks to forge its own trade deals, notably in the Middle East. The world needs a British Prime Minister who is focused on his job, not his survival.

This is one of the many reasons his announcement was widely welcomed yesterday. But Britain is not out of the woods yet. Mr Johnson intends to remain caretaker prime minister until the Conservative Party chooses a new leader, which could take months. Either he will be a lame leader or he risks provoking even more anger by acting as if nothing has happened when he no longer has any constitutional right to govern his country. Neither outcome is appealing.

These are difficult times for Britain. He is still recovering from the impact of Covid-19. Inflation is skyrocketing. Family budgets are strained. The government has a Hobson choice to make between prioritizing spending – to help those in need – or the economy – to help fight inflation and protect public finances. A period of political stability after months of turmoil is needed to make such difficult decisions.

And that’s only for the short term. Early signs are that Britain’s exit from the EU has caused further damage to its economy. Britain’s next leader – whoever he is – must improve trade relations with the rest of the world to make up for lost business in the EU. In addition, there is Ukraine, the aging of the population, climate change. The sooner British politics can get boring again, the better.

Posted: July 07, 2022, 01:31 PM

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