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Johnson was destined for Downing Street, but the one to watch is Nigel, not Boris

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25.07.2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has the cool combo of a Hollywood lifestyle with the brains to write respectable books on weighty subjects: Rome, Shakespeare, Churchill, London. Pundits have long speculated Johnson was destined for the top – he’s been mulling it since childhood. People of goodwill can only hope Johnson is the one who cuts the "Gordian Knot of Brexit".

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson enters 10 Downing Street.Credit:AP.

But perhaps the Brexit impasse has no chance of resolution in this parliament. The UK cannot leave Europe without a majority in the House of Commons agreeing to "leaving terms". A full range of such terms has been put to a vote. None has approached a majority.

In a standard political crisis, a new prime minister would very likely shift parliamentary votes on the back of his or her momentum into power. The Brexiteers and Remainers, however, are dug in.

Johnson talks tough on Brexit (as did his predecessor) but words are words. It will be votes in the Commons that count.

We are yet to hear from Johnson on a) what his leaving terms are or b) how he’ll get a majority. The new Brexit deadline, 99 days from his ascension to the prime ministership, falls ominously on Halloween. What happens if the parliament still hasn’t found a majority for leaving terms by then?

The monarch should dissolve this parliament so a a........

© The Age