Boris warned any leadership hopes now in ‘tatters’ after Brexit deal

Boris Johnson discusses partygate and Brexit three years on

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Boris Johnson has been warned by Andrew Neil the new Brexit deal struck by Rishi Sunak with the European Union leaves any hopes he has of a stunning leadership challenge “in tatters”. On Monday, Mr Sunak shook hands with EU boss Ursula von der Leyen on a new deal for the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the sounds coming from leading Tory Brexiteers have been largely positive. Mr Johnson quit as Prime Minister last July but there have recently been calls for him to make a stunning return as the Brexit impasse with the EU dragged on.

But veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil has torn apart those hopes and believes the new Brexit deal with the EU will now inject huge momentum into Mr Sunak’s premiership.

He wrote in the Daily Mail: “Rishi Sunak’s new deal with the European Union over Northern Ireland is a remarkable watershed in more ways than one — with implications far beyond the Six Counties.

“Yes, it consolidates Northern Ireland’s position within the United Kingdom while honouring the Good Friday Peace Agreement and the province’s special relationship with the EU single market.

“But it also heralds a new era of good feelings between London and Brussels from which both sides have much to gain.

“And it imbues Sunak’s premiership with a new sense of achievement and purpose just when it was badly needed.”

Mr Neil added: “Until this week the Sunak Government seemed listless, merely languishing in the doldrums until the next General Election took it out of its misery. The Windsor Framework changes all that.

“Suddenly Sunak has pulled off what was thought to be impossible. It had certainly proved beyond the capabilities of his three Tory predecessors, including Boris Johnson, whose hopes of using the argy-bargy over the Northern Ireland protocol as a springboard to a new Tory leadership challenge now lie in tatters.”

The veteran political expert believes the “success and enhanced authority” Mr Sunak has achieved should provide him with a platform to “deliver on the promise of Brexit so eagerly advanced in the 2016 referendum yet so hard to divine ever since”.

He has now urged diehard Brexiteers on both sides of the Irish Sea who may look to provide oppose parts of the news ‘Windsor Framework” to instead use it as a “springboard to post-Brexit success”

Mr Neil added: “After all, they’re the ones who promised us sunny uplands if we voted to leave the EU.

“Seven years on and the landscape still looks pretty gloomy. Some even wonder, sotto voce, that it might not have been worth the candle, given the small Brexit dividend to date.

“Time, perhaps, for them to get behind Sunak and change that, rather than try to undermine a perfectly good deal that has the support of London, Belfast, Dublin, Brussels and Washington DC — and the overwhelming majority of the British people.”

POLL – Was Matt Hancock negligent in the handling of Covid [POLL]
Matt Hancock threatens legal action over ‘distorted’ WhatsApp leaks [LATEST]
BBC’s Nick Robinson tears apart Hancock over leaked WhatsApps [REACTION]

He believes the crucial Budget on March 15 would be a “good place to start” for Mr Sunak and his Government to use the benefits of Brexit to “grasp these new opportunities and fresh possibilities with both hands”.

But Mr Neil warned: “The Windsor Framework has pumped fresh life into the Sunak Government and even given Brexit a second chance. Of course, there is still much to be done and no time to lose.”

The comments come with claims Mr Sunak’s new Brexit deal could save the Tories from being “completely wiped out” at the next general election and convince voters to “think twice” about siding with Sir Keir Starmer’s “thinly-veiled agenda”.

Alongside former Prime Minister Mr Johnson, Michael Gove became a key cornerstone of the Vote Leave campaign in the lead-up to the EU referendum in June 2016.

Now his former wife Sarah Vine, who was married to Mr Gove during that historic vote, has piled praise on Mr Sunak and claimed his Brexit deal could go a long way to getting the Tories back onto the road to recovery.

Writing in the Daily Mail, she said: “Politically, he (Rishi Sunak) may have achieved something equally important: saving the Conservative Party from getting completely wiped out at the next general election.

“They have turned the debate into a cultural civil war, casting themselves as progressive, inclusive visionaries, while demonising those who voted Leave as piggy-eyed, immigrant-hating, thick Little Englanders.

“So the idea that all this might finally be about to end, that in some way all of us — on both sides of the debate — might, at last, be approaching a form of closure, is something I had not dared even to hope for.”

Source: Read Full Article