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Three big priorities for Boris Johnson

By Mal Fletcher - posted Monday, 16 December 2019

'The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself,' said Plato.

While Conservative party members will rightly celebrate their huge win in yesterday's general election, all returning and first-time MPs should engrave Plato's words on their hearts.

Boris Johnson has spoken this morning of gaining a 'stonking majority'. He is right. This is the largest Conservative win since Margaret Thatcher was in her prime.


Big wins, of course, carry with them huge responsibilities and questions going forward. For Prime Minister Johnson and his cabinet, three questions should be uppermost in their minds.

The first relates to Brexit. In this election, voters rejected the idea that the 2016 referendum result was merely advisory, as some Remain voters had claimed, and that the country needs and wants a second referendum.

To a degree, this election was about Brexit - whether it should go forward and whether stubborn Remainer MPs in the last Parliament were right to dither and delay its delivery.

One thing is clear today. This result must put to bed once and for all any recalcitrance MPs may feel about moving forward Britain's divorce from the European Union.

That said, once Britain has officially left the EU - which Mr Johnson promised again this morning to do by the end of January - there remains the rather more complex task of sorting out the details of this nation's future trading relationship with the EU and then building trade networks elsewhere.

While the Prime Minister is manifestly a fine salesman, policy detail is not his strength. It doesn't need to be, as he will have some gifted strategists around him.


He needs to entrust the Brexit negotiations to someone who will rigorously pursue the detail, in the interests of the entire British nation - not just its southern cities - without seeking the limelight or personal political glory.

Michael Gove and Boris Johnson both acknowledged this morning that today's victory was aided by people who had 'loaned' their vote to Conservatives. The Prime Minister promised to work hard to prove worthy of that trust going forward.

A sure way to waste the currency of that trust would be for anyone associated with the Brexit process to appear vainglorious.

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This article was first published on 2030Plus.Net.

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About the Author

Mal Fletcher is a media social futurist and commentator, keynote speaker, author, business leadership consultant and broadcaster currently based in London. He holds joint Australian and British citizenship.

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