23 July 2019

Boris Johson

Image @BorisJohnson

What a remarkable day today is for British politics. Regardless of your party preference, there is no denying that the situation at Westminster is unprecedented.

In the middle of the biggest negotiation in modern history, we have a change in leadership. The choice, between two candidates chosen by Tory MPs, has been made by Conservative Party members, who chose to elect Boris as the new PM.

The undeniably controversial Boris Johnson has been a cause of contention for many people across the country for some time. With people questioning his approach to being mayor, his flip-flopping on the Brexit deal and history of uncouth comments, he isn’t the typical candidate for Prime Minister of the UK.

Even he doubted his chances, with him quoted as saying more than a decade ago: “My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.

Clearly anything is possible! Having met both candidates a little while ago though, I believe that out of the two, he is the man for the job.

At a business leaders’ event, Jeremy Hunt said that he would drop corporation tax. You would think I’d be over the moon at that as a businessperson. The reality is that I don’t want a drop in tax and neither do most of the businesspeople I know.

Investing in our country

Right now we need to invest our money in this country and in our public services. We need more police on the streets and we need proper pay increases for the emergency services, nurses and teachers. Cutting taxes may win a few hearts and minds in a very small minority, but it’s not what I want. What I want is a strong economy where everybody prospers.

Boris on the other hand acknowledged that it is clearly not a level playing field for British businesses and the big American tech firms. He gets it. He understands the impact that that has. And most importantly, he listened to what the people around the table had to say, and he took it on board.

I’m confident that he’s the right man to try and finally remedy that issue and create a level playing field for British businesses.

That may be a controversial opinion for some. There’s a significant difference between being Mayor of London and being our Prime Minister. I think he’ll handle the job with dignity. I also believe he will be a great leader.

He is an interesting character and clearly very intelligent, despite the gaffes that he has undeniably made in the past. As Prime Minister, there is no room for this type of behaviour.

Ultimately, we have to get behind the PM anyway, regardless of our politics. He’s the one that’s representing us now across the globe. If he lets us down then we can all start complaining, but right now I’m behind him 100%.

It is frustrating to see the likes of Philip Hammond, among others, threatening to jump ship  You have to be around the table to negotiate and to influence. They’ve worked hard to become politicians and now is the time to have that arm wrestle and have your voice heard. You can’t be heard if you’re not around the table, so it’s crazy that people are sacrificing themselves to make a point.

The Brexit debacle

As a business leader I’m not worried that Johnson plans to hold us to the Brexit withdrawal date of 31st October. We’ve had more than enough uncertainty and delays now. I’d rather have a set date to work to, despite concerns about a no-deal scenario.

If the EU won’t play ball and we leave without a deal, we will begin the negotiations from that point with a clean slate. We have all had plenty of time to prepare, we’ve known that no-deal was an option for a long time. For me, we just need to get Brexit over and done with. Then we can all move on and carry on with making our economy stronger, and our public services better.


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