UKIP’s David Kurten reflects on whether the former Mayor of London has bitten off more than he can chew.
Sputnik: Will Boris Johnson be able to deliver Brexit by October the 31st?
David Kurten: He’s making all the right noises at the moment, but then again; Theresa May made all the right noises when she was Prime Minister, and she said one hundred and eight times that the UK was going to leave the EU on the 29th of March come what may, and she didn’t, and Boris is doing the same thing.
We’ve got to wait and see whether he’s actually sincere, or what he starts to say nearer the time. On the other hand, the parliamentary arithmetic is completely against him, he’s going to lose the Brecon by-election on Thursday; the Liberal Democrats are going to win, his majority in parliament even with the DUP is going to be down to one, so it’s only going to take one or two Tory backbench MPs to vote against him in a vote of no confidence, and there will be a general election, so that’s looking like the most likely scenario at the moment, that he won’t be able to deliver because there will be an election in October.
Sputnik: Has the potential for a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after a no-deal Brexit, been overblown?
David Kurten: This is part of project fear, it’s completely overblown; no one is going to build a wall in the middle of the island of Ireland, there’s not even anyone really suggesting that, the UK’s government isn’t going to build a wall, Varadkar and the Irish government are not going to build a wall, the EU’s not going to build a wall, nobody’s going to build a wall.
There may well need to be extra paperwork for bringing goods between the two parts of the island of Ireland, that’s necessary, there may need to be a few more cameras, and a few plate registration checks and so on; but that’s completely within the bounds of reason and reasonability.
This is being ramped up by the EU, Varadkar and Sinn Fein who are just looking for an excuse and an obstacle to stop Britain leaving on WTO terms, or with a mutually beneficial trade deal. They are ramping it up, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.
Sputnik: Do you think it has been worthwhile for Boris Johnson to visit Wales, Scotland and Ireland over the past few days? Can he really get them on board with his Brexit plans?
David Kurten: I support the union; we don’t want the United Kingdom to break up, not at all, but you’ve got Nicola Sturgeon who is using this to make political capital for herself. Obviously, she wants a second independence referendum, and she’s going to push for that, so she’s just taking advantage of the system and the situation as it is.
Whether she will get it or win it is another story. I would take everything she says with a pinch of salt because I don’t think at the end of the day that the people of Scotland would really want to leave the United Kingdom when it comes down to it.
I think Boris is on his honeymoon period at the moment, it’s only been a week since he became Prime Minister and he’s’ going around the country like Father Christmas, saying things like "twenty thousand more police, I’m going to build you a railway line in Northern England, I’m going to give money to farmers here." He’s gearing up for an election, as well as trying to make himself look good, along with his ebullient personality, so he’s going to have a nice summer, but when parliament returns on September the 5th it’s going to all kick off again, his honeymoon will very sharply be over.