Well, I hope there will be more Boris because he is entertaining, but he will not be leader of the Tory party or Prime Minster of Britain.
I know I said I wouldn’t write anything else about the EU referendum, but that was conditional on no more interesting news coming up, and Boris’ announcement that he won’t be running for party leader counts as interesting as much as it does unexpected. Commenters claim he was betrayed by Michael Gove, who pledged support for Boris then did a dramatic about turn and announced his own decision to run for leadership.
Most people seemed to expect that, not only would Boris throw his hat into the ring and enter the leadership race, but that he would win it and become the next Prime Minister. Everything I’ve written – on arguments, comments and a few rants – on FaceBook has supported that view, and I feel like I’ve been caught unawares by this unexpected piece of news. My perception of Britain, Europe, and how the unfolding events may affect me, has just been revealed as faulty, and I’m not really sure what to do about it.
Gove as Prime Minister would be disastrous, for Britain in particular and probably for Europe as a whole. His aggressive ‘them and us’ attitude is frightening, and (as I mentioned in this post) the closest I can imagine to Gove’s Britain is that depicted in the 2006 film, Children of Men.
There was some hope – briefly – that a positive result might come out of it, and a new leader could be found who would find a way to ignore the referendum result, and keep Britain in Europe, but even Theresa May, who supported the ‘Remain’ campaign, has said there will be no second referendum and Brexit will go ahead if she becomes Prime Minister.
It’s disappointing, and the whole thing has left me feeling torn.
I consider myself both British and European, but it seems I’m no longer allowed to be both, and I’ll have to choose one or the other. I could apply for Spanish residency now, which would give me the right to continue living legally in Spain even if British people are no longer allowed to live freely in EU countries once the exit negotiations are completed. In another 3 years or so, I will have been in Spain long enough to apply for citizenship, which would make me European again, but it would also mean giving up my British passport, and I’m not sure if that’s something I’d want to do.
I have some big decisions ahead of me.
(Photo: Boris Johnson. It’s a rather old photo, actually, but seems appropriate because he looks as if he’s pondering the future.)