The ambitious national agenda of Boris Johnson would be crushed by the urgent, urgent requirements following a no-deal Brexit, a recent Whitehall thinktank study found.
The Government Institute (IfG) advised that there is “no such thing as a managed no agreement” and the EU’s tough Brexiters predictions of a “smooth break” will not materialize.
Johnson will begin his first full week in Downing Street by ramping up planning for a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, with more than £ 1bn to be announced in the days leading up to Chancellor Sajid Javid’s preparations.
During the weekend, he sent a raft of cabinet ministers to speak about “turbo-charging” preparations as part of an advertising blitz, making it clear that the United Kingdom will head for no-deal unless EU leaders agree to substitute the Irish backstop.
The new prime minister is also heading to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the coming days to promise to “reinforce the union,” but he faces a challenging conference with Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson on Monday as she warned over the weekend that she would not be able to sign up to his no-deal Brexit policy.
In its report on no deal, the IfG anticipated that, in the case of a no-deal Brexit, the union of the United Kingdom would be under “unprecedented pressure,” with Northern Ireland “most impacted.”
It said legislation to introduce direct rule with immediate impact in Northern Ireland would be required if a no-deal Brexit were not restored by the end of October.
“Johnson may well discover that he spends a growing percentage of his time attempting to maintain another union together after leaving one political union,” he said.
The IfG, which has headquarters near the Foreign Office near St James’s Park, has frequent access to lawmakers and top officials, allowing it to offer honest evaluations on all elements of government.
His release comes just days after Johnson unveiled plans for a high-speed rail link between Manchester and Leeds, 20,000 fresh police officers, and additional social care and school money. In an election, the pledges seem intended to appeal to the public, fueling speculation that Johnson is preparing for one even though he is openly ruling it out before Brexit takes place.
The study, however, describes how unsure the future would be after a crash for Boris Johnson, implying that it would overshadow anything other than Brexit.
In another sign of Johnson’s uncertainty faces, Vauxhall’s proprietor advised on Sunday that if Brexit makes it unprofitable, it will close its Ellesmere Port factory with the loss of 1,000 employment.
“No agreement is a move into the unknown: the second 100 days of the prime minister will be even more unpredictable than his first,” the study suggests, adding that it is unlikely that the EU will agree to negotiate any “side agreements” to ease the effect.
“Instead of’ turbo-charging’ the economy, as Johnson proposed, the state is more likely to be engaged in offering cash and support to companies and sectors that have not prepared or are worst impacted by a Brexit no-deal–as well as dealing with UK people in the EU and EU people here who have been likewise captured,” he claims.
The writers show that the scheduling statements of the government are “locked in classified documents on secret pcs known as Rosa terminals” across Whitehall, but warn that “as the name indicates, these are just assumptions.”
No one can predict how the nation, business, and regular voters will respond to no compromise, something the IfG has been saying for a while, say the writers, Joe Owen, Maddy Thimont Jack, and Jill Rutter.
“Whitehall’s risk registers for a no-deal Brexit may have comprehensive plans for managing expected hazards.
“But some of the greatest prospective headaches will come from the unforeseen problems,” the reports conclude.
Johnson has started a campaign with Labor, the Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats and up to 40 backbench Tories all pledging to fight a no-deal Brexit to attempt to persuade the public and MPs that his government will be prepared if needed.
No ten disclosed that Johnson had commissioned a series of new cabinet committees to prepare for no deal, with general accountability going to Michael Gove, now a portfolio-free minister.
At lunchtime on Sunday, the prime minister spoke to his cabinet to outline a new codenamed XO “daily operations commission.” It will be chaired by Gove and will meet with live activities, deadlines, and accountability lines on screens at each conference in the emergency room of Cobra. Others engaged include Javid’s all-male line up; Dominic Raab, foreign secretary; Steve Barclay, Brexit secretary; and Cox, attorney general, Geoffrey.