The Tory leadership contest has come to an end and Boris Johnson is officially the new party leader and our new Prime Minister.
Looking at market reactions to the news, the pound is still down so it doesn’t seem that he has added any certainty to the markets on a long-term basis.
Boris probably shouldn’t get too cosy in his new job, as the odds of a general election happening this year are still quite high, especially with the Governments majority in the House of Commons reduced to just one seat following the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.
What the outcome of a general election would be no one knows, but it didn’t go well for Theresa May in 2016. Boris also faces the same dilemma that confronted May, in that the Tories, like most of Parliament, aren’t decisive about what kind of Brexit they want, and by being too extreme or staying too much in the middle, he risks losing support. It’s a lose-lose situation. Add to this the fact that new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, has made it clear that the EU is definitely not open to renegotiating the key terms of the withdrawal agreement that MPs had such issues with, means that while Boris might talk the talk, he could find it difficult to walk the walk.
While there’s still little movement on the Brexit front, and most media attention has been focused on the Tory leadership election, there were things happening behind the scenes. MPs attempted to amend legislation being drawn up that aims to manage the effect of a collapsed devolution in Northern Island. The amendment in question would prevent the Government proroguing Parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit. However, the amendments did not receive much support from MPs and the bill has been passed to the House of Lords for their scrutiny. If they complete the package of amendments, they can send the Bill back to the House of Commons for review. This could make life for Boris that bit harder and risk leaving the cloud of uncertainty looming over the UK for even longer.