For the third time Britain failed to leave the EU on 31 October and Boris Johnson could not prove that the liberal idea did not survive itself. In June, Johnson wrote in his column in the Daily Telegraph: “If we want to support the liberal idea, we must implement the Brexit by 31 October and that is what we will do. "
Today, the UK remains in the EU for the time being. Johnson has forced his Parliament to ask the EU for a third delay until 31 January 2020. The will of the British people, who have already expressed themselves in 2016 for an exit, remains a utopia.
Controversy with the Russian President
The headline Johnson’s column: “We will prove Vladimir Putin wrong by leaving the EU by October 31”
With this Heading and the entire column of 30. June Johnson entered a debate with Putin in his own British media. On 27 June, the Financial Times published an Interview with Putin before the G20 summit in Osaka on 28 and 29 June, in which the Russian head of State, among other things, stated that Russia rejected the dictate of liberal ideology, which should exist but not dominate. According to Putin, the modern liberal idea has survived itself and is at odds with the interests of the vast majority of the population.
The events of the next three months, both in Brussels and in London, confirmed the correctness of Putin’s reasoning, which, unlike Johnson, did not intend to prove anything to anyone.
The struggle for leadership
Both the fact of the publication of Putin’s interview and its content have caused a strong media resonance in the UK. On the islands prevailed a fierce battle for the boss after the resignation of Theresa May, which could not stop the exit from the EU. London should have left by 29 March 2019, as requested by the Lisbon EU agreement. May, however, managed only twice to request deferment, once until mid-April and then until 31 October and this should be done without an idea like the Brexit.
The” Journalist " and mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was at that time the favorite as a possible May successor. After entering a media converse with Putin, he tried to score points and at the same time acted as a zealous liberal values and fighter for the early exit of the country from the EU.
According to Johnson, liberalism is not only alive, but also guarantees the Western countries “prosperity at a level that previous generations could not even imagine”. The States, which are constructed on the basis of liberalism, freedom, equality and the rule of law, thrive while the Absence of this basis will result in a disaster.
From Brexit to liberalism
At first glance, the link between Britain’s exit from the EU in the agreed deadline and the Triumph of liberal values is not obvious, but Johnson himself tried to prove its existence.
According to him, the majority of the British have decided to leave the EU because the European Union “began to undermine the basic principle of liberal democracy”. The centralisation of Power in Brussels and the lack of transparency in the decisions of the European Union lead to nepotism and corruption will not be tolerated in the United Kingdom, the British politician.
In general, Johnson’s views on the anti-democratic and anti-liberal nature of the European Union were formulated during the years of his work as correspondent of the Daily Telegraph in Brussels (1989-1994). Among the veterans of the European institutions in the Belgian capital, there are still stories about Johnson’s activities and the fierce criticism he has beaten in the European bureaucracy low.
Bureaucracy and party interest
As prime minister, Johnson has neither managed the bureaucracy in Europe nor its own political opponents in the British Parliament.
The EU Commission, on behalf of the negotiator Michel Barnier, made many small concessions to the British government during the Brexit negotiations, but did not take a step towards them in the main challenge of the Irish island border. This threatens to undermine British sovereignty over Northern Ireland, and therefore the Parliament of the kingdom has not been able to ratify the Brexit agreement for a year.
Johnson, however, lost his one-sided bet not only to the Brussels institutions, but also to his political opponents in Parliament, who even blocked the same, the opportunity to leave the EU on 31 October without agreement. Johnson’s main enemy, Corbyn, is not fighting for an ordered Brexit: he wants to delay the process for so long to achieve the strategic goal of holding a new Referendum and thus keeping Britain in the EU.
A simple political calculation that has nothing to do with the interests of the country. If Johnson still has a Chance to become the Prime Minister of the UK from the EU, then such a result Corbyn can motivate really only one: to try to be the lead personality, which is great to keep Britain in the EU. Of course, only if a second Referendum can be held, in which the unsettled British vote for the EU.
In the opinion of many experts in Brussels, the endless waiting for the Brexit of the British economy is more than a shock of an immediate exit.
For example, after the fight at the door, Johnson was only left to ask the EU again for a postponement until 31 January 2020. He did not want to do that when he sent two letters to Donald Tusk on 19 October: in the first letter he asked for another three months for the Brexit and in the second letter he asked the heads of EU governments to reject this.
The reactions of the European states could be seen in advance. The postponement was granted to London in a very short time. For this purpose, not even a summit was convened, there were enough Emails to suit this request. The EU would be pleased if a new Referendum leads Britain to remain in the EU. If this is not done, the maintenance of British agony also serves European interests: as a deterrent for all forces that think about leaving the EU.
The Tradition of repeated referenda
The EU has a long tradition of repeated referendums. They are usually held after a powerful media campaign if the result of the first vote was not in favour of the interests of European Integration. In June 1992, the Danish people refused to agree to the Maastricht agreement, which turned the European Economic Community (EEC) into the modern European Union. No Problem! A second Referendum was held in May 1993, in which voters supported the treaty.
In June 2001, 54 per cent of the Irish refused to agree to the Treaty of Nice on the extension of EU powers, and a second vote took place in October 2002, when 63 per cent of the country’s participation in deep integration processes took place. The situation in Ireland was exactly the same again when 53% of citizens rejected the New Lisbon agreement in 2008, which was supposed to delegate more powers of national governments to Brussels. A year later, a new vote took place and 67 percent of the voters approved the unchanged document.
And the Lisbon agreement itself was a Trick to bypass the results of the referendums of 2005 in France and the Netherlands, whose citizens had refused to support the creation of an EU Constitution. So all the provisions of the rejected Constitution of the European Union were simply transferred to the text of the Lisbon agreement in 2008. Since the legal Status of the document has been reduced, most EU states have tacitly ratified it in the parliaments and have not put it to the referendum.
By the way, the European liberals see no Problem juggling with the results of referendums in this way. The president of the liberal group, Guy Verhofstadt, said at a hearing in the European Parliament in April this year on a question of the practice of repeated referendums that he “will always support them because he believes that the people’s opinion can change”. He did not indicate what media and perhaps electoral efforts have been made for this “change”.
Is Johnson wrong?
In one, it is difficult to contradict the former correspondent of the Daily Telegraph in Brussels, Boris Johnson: his past and current criticism of the degree of democracy of the EU institutions.
In order to find examples of the flexible treatment of liberal values in the European Union, one must not go far back in history. Only in recent months have the EU institutions blatantly broken their promise that they gave European citizens in the run-up to the elections to the European Parliament in May 2019. The European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council declared that for the first Time in the history of the EU, the head of the European Commission’s “democratically elected”! The occupation should not be the result of negotiations behind closed doors, but the result of the elections to the European Parliament. The European Commission should be headed by the candidate of the winning group. This System received the German name “top candidate”.
Each of the supranational political associations of the European Union presented their candidate for the post of head of the European Union before the elections. The European people’s party, would have been made with Manfred Weber, the head of the Commission, the socialist, Frans Timmermans, the first Vice-head of the European Commission and the liberals had asked the EU competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
When the elections had taken place, the EU heads of state and government refused to confirm one of these candidates. Ursula von der Leyen was subsequently appointed head of the EU Commission at the EU summit after consultations behind closed doors. None of the” top candidates " have received the post of head of one of the other institutions: the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Central Bank or the EU’s foreign policy service.
It is worth noting that, in the European Commission, under the leadership of von der Leyen, strange new Items for the commissioners arise. EU commissioners are pan-European Ministers, but the names of the areas of responsibility, remember not to liberalism, but to Orwell. For example, the Deputy Chairman of the European Commission for economy, thus serves the interests of the people, the Vice-President of the European Commission for the protection of the European way of life, the EU Commissioner for values and transparency, or the Commissioner for gender equality.
By the way, the Leyen commission should start its work on 1 November, at the same time as Britain should leave the EU. But also needed a respite, since the European Parliament rejected the appointment of EU commissioners from Romania, Hungary and France, and now these States will have to appoint new representatives. And the commission will not be able to start its work until its entire composition has been approved.
And so the European Union of All Saints, together with the United Kingdom, whose elites are postponing their exit, celebrated under the leadership of the old commission of Jean-Claude Juncker. And everything speaks for the Triumph of liberalism and European values on both sides of the channel.