“Boris Johnson embodies a form of populist revolution”

Tribune. After several months of fruitless negotiations between Europe and the United Kingdom, continuing to stumble over state aid to companies and European fishermen’s access to British waters, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed a project bill in parliament that violates the terms of the protocol on Northern Ireland concluded less than a year ago with the European Union. Shamelessly, Johnson government’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland admitted law would be a violation “Limited and specific” to international law.

How did the UK, which boasts of inventing the rule of law, come to such an end? Why is he taking the risk of torpedoing the possibility of an agreement with Europe, when the country is facing a major health and economic crisis and has a lot to lose from a failure of negotiations, since almost half of British trade is with the European Union?

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To understand this uncontrolled behavior, we must return to the very nature of the Brexit project and the profound transformation of the Conservative Party that carries it. Brexit and choosing a “Global Britain” (“World Great Britain”) to replace the European anchoring are less rational economic decisions than a project of populist domestic policy in the first sense of the term, that is to say the construction of a narrative where the people is rising up against corrupt elites favorable to the European Union.

Pillars of the establishment under attack

Boris Johnson echoed this speech, which had instead been, on his right, the prerogative of Nigel Farage’s UKIP during the referendum campaign in 2016. The Prime Minister skilfully used it to get himself elected as head of the Conservative Party, then to win the legislative elections of December 2019 with a comfortable majority.

Since 2016, Johnson and those close to him in the Conservative Party have continued to attack all the pillars of the establishment who they say want to oppose the “Will of the people” expressed in the referendum of June 2016, in which nearly 52% of voters chose to leave the European Union. In turn, pundits, Supreme Court judges, the BBC, anti-Brexit MPs (including Tories), senior officials and, naturally, EU negotiators are accused of preventing the UK from recovering a national sovereignty which would have been annihilated by Brussels.

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