1. Lack of options for the UK
Despite the confidence Boris Johnson has brought to Brexit negotiations, Britain’s position is worse than ever, as they appear to have been backed into a corner. Among the most major economic issues that the UK will face in the case of a hard Brexit, regardless of preparations, are a weaker pound and slowing economic growth. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the exchange rate of the pound sterling would probably fall, inflation would rise and GDP growth would be slower, according to the minutes of the British central bank’s monetary policy meeting. In its quarterly inflation report, issued on Thursday, the BoE also lowered its growth forecast for 2019 and 2020 to 1.3% from the original forecast of 1.5% and 1.6% respectively, due to Brexit uncertainties and slower global economic growth. Meanwhile, a no-deal Brexit would be even more catastrophic to the economy.
2. Merkel gives Johnson ultimatum to avoid no-deal Brexit
Angela Merkel has challenged Boris Johnson to come up with a solution to avert a no-deal Brexit “in the next 30 days” after the British PM’s meeting with the German Chancellor to discuss the situation. Merkel also suggested that the backstop was “a placeholder that will no longer be necessary” if a solution to the impasse over the Irish border can be found. The strong stance of Merkel and the EU has seemed to soften Johnson’s stance as in response to Merkel’s overture, he sought to convey a willingness to compromise in his appearance with Merkel, saying that he was “glad” to hear his German counterpart setting such a “blistering timetable”.
3. Jeremy Corbyn’s planned intervention
In what seems to be another issue that PM Johnson will have to deal with, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is reportedly plotting to block a no-deal Brexit and has called an urgent meeting with the leaders of other political parties and senior backbenchers from across Parliament to discuss “all tactics available to prevent no-deal”. In a letter, Mr Corbyn said: “The country is heading into a constitutional and political storm, so it is vital that we meet urgently before Parliament returns. “The chaos and dislocation of Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit are real and threatening, as the Government’s leaked Operation Yellowhammer dossier makes crystal clear. That’s why we must do everything we can to stop it.” It remains to be seen how Johnson will respond.
4. Ireland remains a problem in case of no-deal
Furthermore, the problem of Ireland remains, as the Irish Government has refused to engage in discussions with the UK about no-deal preparations, including on how to avoid checks on the Border. The new British government wants to talk to Dublin about managing a no-deal exit, but Irish Ministers and officials have declined. This is an issue that could possibly further delay the UK’s Brexit conclusion, deal or no deal.
5. Johnson has increased public confidence in Brexit
Despite the many obstacles and troubles Boris Johnson is facing with Brexit, public confidence in the UK regarding the deal has gone up. Research shows that the proportion of people expecting the UK to leave the EU on time has risen from almost two to one against in mid-July to neck and neck in mid-August. The report by YouGov shows that before Mr Johnson became Prime Minister only 27% of people believed the UK would be gone by the Hallowe’en Article 50 deadline. It appears Boris Johnson’s energetic burst into office and speech about Brexit has built the confidence of the nation. An outcome he would have targeted.