Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Boris Johnson’s Brexit Election

Posted by hkarner - 31. Oktober 2019

Date: 30-10-2019

Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

Corbyn could win if the Tories fail to offer a vision of Greater Britain.

Boris Johnson on Tuesday finally cajoled Britain’s reluctant Parliament to call a December general election to try to settle Brexit. It’s a brave and desperate gamble—and one that will work only if he runs a campaign persuading voters to embrace a Brexit vision bigger than the divorce deal he needs a new Parliament to pass.

Britain’s recent Brexit miseries have arisen from the hung Parliament elected after Theresa May’s disastrous 2017 bid for a larger majority. Mrs.

May’s big-government-conservative campaign left voters confused about what improvements either Brexit or a Conservative government could bring.

She barely held on in tenuous alliance with a Northern Ireland unionist party that caused her to adopt impractical red lines on trade policy in Brexit talks with the European Union, and her Brexit deal failed in Parliament.

Unlike Mrs. May, Mr. Johnson is leading with energy and daring. He used a looming Oct. 31 deadline for Brexit to coax a better deal with the EU but the Parliament keeps blocking it. In asking for a new election he is calling the bluff of the opposition Labour Party and anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats and taking his case to the voters for a new Parliament. Voters frustrated that Brexit hasn’t happened know that this is their last chance. No other leader or party will make it happen.

Also unlike Mrs. May, Mr. Johnson shows signs of realizing that voters need a bigger vision of what Brexit is about. At his best he has tried to appeal to voters with a convincing post-Brexit plan. His support for Brexit in the 2016 referendum was rooted in frustration with the EU’s economic mismanagement, nanny-ism and overregulation. He promises bold new free-trade agreements, including with the U.S., and he ran for the Conservative Party leadership on a platform of tax cutting. The Tories have risen in the polls in recent weeks as Brexit voters rally to his leadership and a breakthrough finally seems possible.

Yet Mr. Johnson is also showing signs he could be tempted by Mrs. May’s trap of offering a British future of EU-lite. His promise of more money for police services fills a need amid rising crime, but he’s also planning to abandon fiscal restraint for more public-works projects, funding for the socialized health system, and more. Mrs.

May tried similar giveaways—one proposal was a cap on fuel prices—and it failed. Voters saw this as small beer relative to Britain’s real post-Brexit challenges.

The other temptation is assuming the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is too radical to win. Many Tories are too complacent about Mr. Corbyn’s appeal, still believing his 1960s socialism is out of step with voters and that he’s been tarnished by anti-Semitism. At another time this might be true, but his socialist paternalism may be attractive to voters wary of Brexit’s step into the unknown.

Mr. Johnson will have to show voters the vision of a self-confident nation that will prosper after Brexit. This will have to include the case for economic reform so the country can be a magnet for investment and the world’s brightest minds. A campaign that merely tries to scare voters about Mr. Corbyn could end up with another hung Parliament that would end Brexit and leave British politics more bitter and dysfunctional than even during the last three years. Mr.

Johnson needs an optimistic agenda for a Greater Britain.

 

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