Amazing occurrences: Sun rises in East and Boris backs Brexit

In the most surprising news since the revelation that the sun came up in the east this morning, Boris Johnson has announced that he will support Brexit.

It is conceivably possible that he is sincere and has agonised about this decision before finally coming to it but much the most likely way to view this is in the context of the Tory leadership race. Presumably Johnson has calculated that the heir apparent now is Osborne who has recovered from initial problems with the Omnishambles Budget, pasty taxes and the like.

The fact that Teresa May has stayed with Cameron means that none of the serious leadership contenders would have supported Brexit had Johnson stayed with Remain.

This move will no doubt make him the grass roots darling for the meantime. However, if there is a civil war in the Tory Party splitters have rarely gained the crown. One need only look to Heseltine as a classic example. As such maybe today the happiest man in British politics is George Osborne?

Finally I will make a radical prediction: tomorrow the sun will again rise in the east.

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  • Anglo-Irish

    The chances of Boris having thought long and hard, searched his conscience and made the decision based purely upon what is best for the country is precisely zero.

    I agree with you in that this is about game playing and future leadership prospects.

    In my opinion Boris is a seriously nasty piece of work who’s one and only concern is Boris.

    He is however a clever and devious man who may well cause some consternation before he’s done.

    Hope you’re correct and this winds up working against him.

    One can only shudder at a Cuban missile type of crisis being argued between Putin, Trump and Boris!

    The three stooges would be a safer bet!

  • the rich get richer

    It says something about british politics (and not in a good way) how a buffoon like Boris Johnson has come so far ! ! !

  • Turgon

    I think a move to Russia would be the least worst option.

  • Graham Parsons

    Wrong I’m afraid. This move effectively torpedoes the towel folder’s chances of becoming PM. If as we expect the next tory leadership election will be between the towel folder and boris the more euro sceptic tory members will elect boris as leader.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Well, seeing that out of the three of them Putin is the only one dangerous in a serious way, whilst the other two are dangerous in a ” How the hell did that happen?” way, you might be right!

  • chrisjones2

    I am incredulous. Name one who isnt motivated by money or ego or both?

    Gerry’s dog perhaps?

  • Ernekid

    Boris Johnson’s buffoon persona is carefully constructed artifice that is designed to mask what a nasty individual he really is. He’s a misogynistic neocon with some pretty suspect ideas when you look past his image.

  • terence patrick hewett

    As was posted on slugger some time ago, Cameron had a choice of only three strategies:


    After a pretendy re-negotiation with the EU, he has calculated that there are enough Tory loyalists+gullible voters+the timid he can frighten and bully, to give him a narrow “In” victory

    A short-term solution which will solve nothing but get him off the hook: PR gaming, fudge and a piece of all-round b*llsh*t. This could go disastrously wrong, since the
    demos are and have been in a very ugly mood since the expenses scandal.


    Present the EU with an impossible set of demands and when they refuse, swap sides, wrap yourself in the flag, and campaign for the “out” camp. Shoots the UKIP political fox by giving them what they want. Confrontation with the SNP is neutralised by giving the SNP what they want by declaring a constitutional conference with the object of creating an Anglo-Celtic Federation of independent nations trading with the world with the Rep. of Ireland as an observer. Plenty of circles to square there and needs the application of extreme cynicism, duplicity, betrayal, courage, leadership and imagination.


    Make it all up on the hoof and hope it goes all-right on the night.

    Well Cameron the risk-averse opted for the first and Boris the risk-taker has opted for the second.

    Very early to say but the PM could be in deep, deep trouble.

  • Anglo-Irish

    I can’t, my criticism of Boris wasn’t meant in any way as support for any other politician.

    It always seemed to me that Lord Acton’s quote that ” Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely “. could actually be simplified to ” Corrupt people seek power “.

    The idea that someone is an honourable person and then obtains power and decides to change character ( whilst not being impossible ) seems less likely than someone starting off with a dubious character and looking for the means to exploit their lack of honesty.

    Politics being an excellent vehicle for chicanery

    As to Gerry’s dog, I have it on good authority it’ll do anything for a nice juicy bone, even going so far as to trampoline with a naked loon if the stories are true!

  • Anglo-Irish

    My view exactly, it’s always suspicious when it is obvious that someone is putting on an act, unless they have something to hide why go to the trouble?

  • Anglo-Irish

    Don’t give a rat’s arse if the PM is in trouble, bit more concerned about the country being in trouble.

    Had a look at the Sunday Times line up of those on each side of this debate and to say neither bunch were inspiring is an understatement of massive proportions.

  • murdockp

    I think Scottish independence is now firmly back on the table.

    Boris might just win the brexit

  • Robin Keogh

    LOL, how do u manage to get SF or GA into every thread ? ,-)

  • aquifer

    Boris is descended from ‘Euro Toffs’ so this might count as treacheryt:

  • Anglo-Irish

    Knew he had Turkish blood, and can’t say I’m surprised to learn he has German blood also.

    One of my favourite film clips, love Donald Sutherland loosening his hand gun in the holster cowboy style, tell me that isn’t Boris with a shorter haircut that climbs out of the Tiger tank.

    With that ancestry what’s he got against Europe?

  • terence patrick hewett

    You can’t like everybody!

  • Graham Parsons

    Not really. Remain will win quite easily.

  • Anglo-Irish

    I know, but you’d think there would be someone that you could warm to.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Honestly if the UK doesn’t want the EU running its affairs and the EFTA running its affairs and respects other nations right to run their own affairs inside their decided trading blocks (North America NAFTA, South America Mercusor, African Union Free Trade Zone) it should get the same deal as it can give the EU.

    I call it the Nothing for Nothing Treaty Arrangement.

    1. Surrender Free Travel for the right to discriminate and “control borders” … none of this God’s chosen people special passport nonsense where Brits are free to go to Germany but Romanians aren’t free to go to England. If America and China and India don’t have it, why will the UK?

    2. Surrender Free Trade for CAP tariffs and letting other EU like bodies or indeed countries have half the say in the bilaterals and you the other half.
    Or instead of letting EU & EFTA countries have any say in the free trade agreements the United Kingdom can assert its sovereignty with having no Free Trade Agreement laws or common trade laws with any of them out of distrust.

    3. Surrender the EU laws you don’t want enforced in reciprocity, let an unelected World Trade Organisation or other unelected UN bodies neither the UK nor the EU has any control over play Solomon on every disputed deal.

    4. Surrender EU spending programs on cross national projects you no longer want a say in that add a value added potential to goods. Reject co-operation with any European nation that costs the British taxpayer any money.

    Basically demand the isolation the UK had in the 1950’s between the Marshall Plan when the US dictated its affairs and the EFTA dictated its affairs, but without the imperial colonies undergoing some type of voluntary re-colonialism to mitigate it.

    The UK’s new 4 freedoms will be the same as post independence Algeria and pre-EFTA UK.

    1. Freedom from EU,
    2. Freedom from any responsibility to EU,
    3. Freedom of any responsibility the EU has to the UK.
    4. Freedom from the burden of blaming the EU for your problems/ Freedom to take responsibility for your own actions.

    Oh but the UK still be part of NATO which has 22 EU countries, 2 EFTA countries, 1 Turkish Customs Union country and 2 NAFTA countries in it and can send your nation’s servicemen and women in without any democratic veto, if the Russians attack Turkey. No sovereignty loss there.

    If the UK thinks that the Free Trade Arrangements with the rest of the world are easy, why weren’t there any Free Trade Arrangements with ex-British Colonies, North America, China, Russia and Brazil during the 1950’s and what has changed now?

    In the 1950’s the UK wasn’t bound by EU or EFTA constraints.

    Personally if the UK leaves the EU, I would think joining the European Free Trade Association and sucking up the European Free Trade Association membership conditions is the best option, but even that is too much loss of sovereignty for some leavers.

  • barnshee

    Don`t know how tyical/sigificant it is but I had the “luck” to be in then the same underground carriage as Boris recently.– It resembled a victory parade with cheerful salutations all round don`t underrate the “buffoon”

  • Chingford Man

    Scottish independence? Not with a barrel of oil rapidly converging to the price of a Costa flat white.

  • Chingford Man

    I doubt Osborne will be too happy at all. He thought the referendum could be run as a contest between The Future (Remain) and The Past (Leave). It isn’t going to be like that.

    Although a vote to leave would likely mean Cameron’s resignation, a vote to remain would probably cause even more problems for the Tories. Maybe they should ask David Trimble what it was like to lead a badly embittered party in a difficult post-referendum climate. Michael Gove already looks like a neo-Jeffrey.

  • the rich get richer

    Where would Boris be If he was Born In a council Estate ? ? ?

  • murdockp

    Nicola back on the news today. It is on the agenda as predicted

  • Kevin Breslin

    Brexit just changes the game, it doesn’t change the players.

    Scots may be the most European people in Britain, but the English are the most Eurocentric.

  • barnshee

    “, why weren’t there any Free Trade Arrangements with ex-British Colonies, North America, China, Russia and Brazil during the 1950’s and what has changed now?”

    Ignorance again
    Research “commonwealth preference”
    Hint the ROI benefited from it tho it was not a member of the “commonwealth”

  • barnshee

    1. Surrender Free Travel for the right to discriminate and “control borders” …
    Uk citizens are “non Schengen” as such are subject to control at entry to Germany

    .Free Trade is a global pursuit -try importing NZ products to the EC

    “. Surrender the EU laws you don’t want enforced in reciprocity, let an unelected World Trade Organisation or other unelected UN bodies neither the UK nor the EU has any control over play Solomon on every disputed deal.”

    None of the these bodies can influence UK internal legislation unlike the EC

    “. Surrender EU spending programs on cross national projects you no longer want a say in that add a value added potential to goods. Reject co-operation with any European nation that costs the British taxpayer any money.”

    Since the UK is funding these “cross national projects they can choose to continue -or not as suits them

    “EFTA ” never dictated anything -it is/was a free trade area -no customs barriers in specific circumstances

    Try harder

  • DOUG

    Towel folder?

  • terence patrick hewett

    Dr David Starkey? A L Rowse? Reggie Kray? Denry Machin? oh – he already is.

  • Neil

    Osborne, in his one and only real job folded towels for a living. It’s where he learned how to run the UK economy.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Will you do my football pools?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sorry, I think you need to try harder.

    Clearly you didn’t like my solution of the UK pre-1960’s arrangement.

    1. Why should the UK get full free travel in the EU without full reciprocation across the 27 nations?

    It shouldn’t, it didn’t get it in the 1950s or 1960s outside the EEC.

    2. Why should the UK get full free trade and common trading terms in the EU without full across the 27 nations?

    It shouldn’t, it didn’t get it in the 1950s or 1960s outside the EEC.

    3. Why should the UK get access to EU programs if it chooses to withdraw funding and or break program conditions?

    It shouldn’t, it didn’t get it in the 1950s or 1960s outside the EEC.

    The last one being the most minor, depending on the UK’s willingness to continue funding these until 2020 expiration dates.

    And what if the UK offers reciprocation then the UK is surrendering its right to manipulate trade laws in its favour, for some sort of parity arrangement half engineered by the European Union nation, is it not?

    Commonwealth Preference or rather Imperial Preference didn’t actually catch on, it was a miserable failure just like the non-free trade Tea Act.

    The big problem was these deals were lopsided in Britain’s interests because it had an imperial war machine.

    Modern trade relies on common ground with fellow traders, something meaning UK compromising with bodies like the European Union and NAFTA.

    All bilateral and multilateral treaties result in a loss of sovereignty through restraint or constraint.

    And treaties exist because nations cannot trust one another.

    The most important currency is trust and we having Grayling and Dodds tell us stupid things like because the UK has a trade deficit in Europe it deserves to be trusted unconditionally.

    EU survived without the UK, there’s no point in playing hardball.

    The UK will get the trust it works for, the rest of the world are not so stupid to give them any more than that.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Sorry even Libertarians concede Free Trade means laws protecting it between nations, not some ad hoc legal anarchy.

    Nations can’t simultaneously hold protectionist rights and free trade rights without a treaty in reality.

    It means de facto EFTA laws are parroted across nations de jure in legislation.

    In other words the EFTA dictating UK’s laws.

  • terence patrick hewett

    I think the deeply unpopular Arnold Bennett has the clue in his book “The Card” Do not underestimate Mr Machin.

  • LiamÓhÉ

    Aside from the clear sense of injustice of England voting the UK and by extension net beneficiary NI out of the EU, the real question is whether the English periphery could really get 60% of its voting population to vote Out, countering what I guess will be a 65% vote IN from the Celtic Core.

    Are they seriously going to vote themselves out of the world’s greatest trading bloc? The largest platform for global change on issues such as climate change? The achievement of 70 years of post WWII politics?

  • DOUG


  • Pasty

    Cameron and Osborne have negotiated the best deal that the UK could possibly get and have ensured that Britain has a “Special Status” within Europe – they are the only country with Nuclear weapons with little control over their own destiny.
    A vote to stay will allow Britain to pay a portion of benefits to the 34000 people claiming them for 4 years and the % they will be paid will depend on how long they have been in Britain. If they could deny migrants 100% of their benefits that would save £30million a year so they will be saving very little as they can’t even save that.
    A whole lot of bluster about nothing. Vote stay in and be part of Europe, you don’t get to dictate the rules in any club you join that’s Democracy your not running an Empire any more no matter how many MBE’s or OBE’s you hand out.

  • Chingford Man

    Yeah, I think my taxes should go towards UK levels of child benefit to kids living all over the EU. Glad to know part of our £55 million daily membership fee is being put to good use.

  • Chingford Man

    When did we join “the world’s greatest trading bloc”? I thought we were in a backward and decrepit customs union?

  • the rich get richer

    Boris would be lucky to get a job sweeping the road. Not that there is anything wrong with sweeping the road.

  • Angry Mob

    Cameron has negotiated a promise at best, but given how that Mr Blair negotiated away our rebate for the promise of CAP reform went, I’m not giving the EU the benefit of the doubt in that it will actually implement this.

    Basically Cameron has lied to Parliament and the people. This deal is not legally binding, at best its a promise made by the EU leaders (acting outside the EU council) whom have no power in making actual EU treaties, nor do they have the power to force the EU council or Parliment to ratify them. Article 61 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and the dictum res inter alios acta vel iudicata, aliis nec nocet nec prodocet (two or more people cannot agree amongst each other to establish an obligation for a third party who was not involved in the agreement). In addition countries such as Ireland, Italy etc may have to gain approval from their respective parliaments.

    Mr Cameron gained nothing new, anything he has claimed such as staying outside the Schengen zone, eurozone, was already in place. Indeed his emergency brake on migrant benefits exists already in EU treaties but simply requires EU parliamentary approval.

    If this is the best they can do, it’s even more proof that the UK needs out now.

  • Angry Mob

    EFTA is the best option available to the UK, but it should be considered the first stepping stone on a journey to a trade based relationship rather than political.

  • Angry Mob

    It take’s the wise man to act the fool, Boris isn’t a big an imbecile as he makes out. However, I don’t like how the media has got their personality politics now with Boris in one Corner and Dave in the other. We get in-fighting rather than looking at the actual issues.

    I guess that benefits the remain side however; as the arguments are as shallow as a camel’s piss puddle.

  • Greenflag 2

    Eurocentric ?? Eccentric don’t you mean

  • Graham Parsons

    Once the pig botherer plays his Nissan and Airbus cards the out campaign will be finished.

  • Graham Parsons

    As I’ve said elsewhere once companies like Nissan and Airbus enter the debate we will see support for Britexit slowly dissolve.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Boris is no ones fool, it’s all an act, which is why I have severe reservations about him.

    Why the act? What’s he covering up?

    I totally agree, this is a serious decision which is going to effect the countries future, reducing it to personality politics is both ridiculous and dangerous.

    But that’s what politics has come to, some sort of popularity plus charisma contest.

    Arguably the best, or at least one of the best PMs the country has had since the war was Clement Attlee.

    He wouldn’t have stood a chance in today’s climate, unphotogenic reticent and bald, no chance today.

    The same goes for Alec Douglas Hume, who despite being an aristocrat struck me as a decent man, but today with his stilted speech and less than charismatic personality would never get to lead a party.

    That’s why Corbyn is a disaster, doesn’t look or act the part, practically unelectable as a result.

    None of those characteristics have any bearing whatsoever on competence, but these days they are a factor, no wonder we appear to be heading toward hell in a handcart when superficial looks and BS triumph over ability.

  • Pasty

    The Child Maintenance payments are not included in the daily membership payments but additional amounts to people who are working and supporting the economic wealth of Britain. Just like the Winter Fuel payments made to the many British Nationals that live in Spain and yet receive the extra monies to help with heating? and unlike the immigrants working in Britain those ex-pats are NOT contributing to the economy of the country.

  • Pasty

    a little point here – Ireland and a few other countries don’t have to get the approval of their Parliaments but have to hold a referendum and get the approval from the people. Therefore the idea of the promise being implemented the day (or minutes) after the result of the UK IN – OUT Referendum is ludicrous. It will take months for the 3 or 4 countries who have written constitutions to hold referendums of their people.
    In Irelands case approval is likely to be a tick box exercise as the Irish people have a “Special Relationship” with Britain and will actually have the Right to Vote in the British Referendum if living in Britain on 23rd June unlike any other EU Citizen living in Britain.
    One point though that has not been mentioned is that the agreement has tied the benefit payments to EU Migrants to Britain to the Cost Of Living in their own countries. This will mean that the British Treasury will have to pay increased payments in cases where the Cost Of Living in the claimants Home Country is higher than that in Britain – i.e. Ireland.

  • Chingford Man

    Well you might have a point if social welfare levels were the same across the EU but they’re not, are they? In-work benefits have to be paid by the poor oppressed taxpayer and I am sick of paying to support families who may live hundreds of miles away. When we are a self-governing nation again that will be the end of it.

    And as for paying winter fuel allowance to people living in Spain, I’d scrap it and make it means-tested. Spain isn’t exactly cold in winter.

  • Chingford Man

    “Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier has said he has “no intention” of pulling manufacturing out of the UK if the country votes to leave the
    European Union (EU)”

    Just for your info.

  • Chingford Man

    Depends on whether he could access a grammar school or be consigned to one of the sink comprehensives so beloved of Lefties. Of course when the same fate awaits their own children they suddenly discover religion or move to an appropriate school catchment area.

  • Chingford Man

    Off-topic, but I’m pretty sure that when he was Editor of The Spectator, Boris paid a visit to Drumcree to interview District Master Harold Gracey in his caravan.

  • Graham Parsons

    And a month earlier

    What we can guarantee at this stage is that Airbus investment in the UK will not increase following britexit.

  • Graham Parsons

    Oh and here’s another interesting development

    Just for your info.

  • Chingford Man

    You reversed so quickly over your suggestion that Airbus would quit the UK you really should have been beeping.

    The poll was conducted by the Bertelmann Foundation and three guesses who has been funding it?

    So an organisation in receipt of EU money comes up with an opinion poll supporting Remain? Fancy that.

  • Graham Parsons

    Nope see below. Airbus gave two conflicting statements within the space of a month last year. I expect we’ll get another announcement from them before the referendum just to focus minds. Nissan as well.

    Do you seriously think a britexit will encourage inward investment? You exiters should really stick to your immigration arguments.

  • barnshee

    EFTA is a free trade association (European Free trade Association) set up 1960 It pre dates UK association with the EU

    They were originally the “outer seven” UK etc EFTA versus “the inner six” (the old common market France Germany Belgium Italy Luxembourg Holland)

    EFTA had no effect on internal UK legislation (unlike the EU)

  • barnshee

    The UK has not got full free travel access
    the UK is “non schengen”
    I am just back from German –queued and processed thru passport control –both ends -what would change if the UK left -Join a longer queue?

    2 If it leaves it will have to take what it gets – the UK has a deficit with the rest of the EU — equally the EU will have to take what its gets

    3 The UK funds the EC if it leave the funds are saved

    4″ Commonwealth Preference or rather Imperial Preference didn’t actually catch on, it was a miserable failure just like the non-free trade Tea Act.”

    It appeared to work well fo the 30 odd years I had experience of it eg India and Pakistan (fabric s) The Republic of Ireland (Food and Dairy products clothing Australia N Zealand )

    “EU survived without the UK, there’s no point in playing hardball.”

    The UK survived before the EC existed it would continue to survive if it left

    “The UK will get the trust it works for, the rest of the world are not so stupid to give them any more than that.”

    The UK will earn its living in the world it should not be so stupid as to expect any more than that

  • Chingford Man

    Inward investment depends on many issues, such as taxation, ease of doing business, language and law, not just for access to the Single Market.

    There is every reason to suppose that companies that choose Brexit Britain for inward investment would not be disadvantaged in doing so as the EU would not dare to start a trade war with what would be its largest foreign market

  • Chingford Man

    Actually, neither you nor I can “guarantee” anything. Whether Airbus does increase its investment depends on factors other than membership of the EU.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The UK does have freedom of movement, which means a Brit can live in Germany holiday in the Czech Republic, get married in Poland and die in Italy all without need to fill out immigration forms or doing silly red tape Australian points nonsense.

    My belief the mutual relinquishing of these rights is the only way to appease the public demand to “close borders” which is open ended to include the broader principle of freedom of movement.

    UK businesses in EU and EU businesses working in UK will face the red tape of needing work visas as is the case with non-EEA businesses working in EEA and vice versa. The arrangements the UK had with continental Europe before joining EFTA.

    Please don’t confuse this with a travel check, those exist in the CTZ too. I get it, but it’s not what I was referring to.

    The trade deficits arguments are meaningless, it is the trade relationships rather than the ultimate balance of trade are important. Anyone can read a trade statistic and say give us a free trade deal or you don’t get our money. It does nothing to inform these countries about how much freedom they have to import and export goods in and out of the U.K. It would be also unproductive for a government to use consumer spending a mechanism it cannot control as a negotiating tool. Traders need confidence and competent rules, not to be militarily enlististed to carry out trade cold wars.

    And the Commonwealth arrangement wasn’t free trade it was state controlled trade possibly the opposite of free trade.

  • Graham Parsons

    Ha ha taxation. Many hardly pay any corporation tax.

  • Graham Parsons
  • barnshee

    “And the Commonwealth arrangement wasn’t free trade it was state controlled trade possibly the opposite of free trade.”

    It was free entry to the UK market no tariff barriers for the commonwealth nations (and non members like the ROI )– without reciprocity on their part

  • Kevin Breslin

    It can’t be free trade if it’s unreciprocated.

  • Reader

    Same sort of story with Martin McGuinness.