Boris Johnson, the new prime minister of the United Kingdom, takes a hard-line stance on leaving the European Union with ‘no deal’ as he pledged to make ‘Britain great again’ echoing the US President Donald Trump.
Although he supports the union between the four countries of the UK - England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland - his ‘do or die’ approach to leaving EU has evoked protests among the nationalists in four corners of the UK.
In Scotland, he was castigated by pro-EU and pro-Scottish independence supporters. The protesters chanted, “Boris, Boris, Boris; out, out, out.” holding placards with the PM’s face.
Scotland’s first PM and nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon said that Boris will not be able to visit Scotland without being protested.
Scotland had voted for independence back in 2014. The country decided to stick with the UK by a vote of 55 percent to 45 percent.
The decision of leaving EU despite 62 percent votes from Scotland against-BREXIT may induce the Scottish nationalists to go for a second round votes for independence.
So, in the Northern Ireland. Fifty-six percent people voted for remaining in EU.
Johnson on his visit to Northern Ireland was greeted by Irish protesters holding placards that say, “BREXIT means border.”
Northern Ireland is the only nation in the UK that shares border with the Republic of Ireland.
After BREXIT, the two sovereign countries may face regulatory regimes in trading at the border, though the PM assured Northern Ireland of avoiding any physical border between the two countries.
Johnson said they will make ‘alternative arrangements.’ But the nationalists are not content with the premier’s assurance.
Many of the Irish nationalists are still in favour of unionism between Northern Ireland and the rest of the Ireland.
A recent Northern Ireland Life and Times survey found that many Irish nationalists feel that British have hardened their union.
It fears that leaving EU may provoke the nationalists to unite with rest of Ireland.
However, the scenario is slightly different in Wales. In the BREXIT referendum, Wales voted for leaving EU and they are not posing any strong independence movement.
But the Welsh farmers criticised Boris for his ‘No deal’. It wanted to quit EU but with ‘deals’, as it would have a catastrophic impact on the Welsh economy.
The EU allies had zero-quota, zero-tariffs regimes in trading. In no deal context, Welsh businesses will face tariffs in trading with the EU.
Development Officer of National Sheep Association in Wales Helen Robert said Welsh lambs will face 40 percent tariffs in no-deal context. It will cause catastrophe in Welsh farming industry and businesses.
Although the PM assured of support for manufacture and agriculture industry with alternative models, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakefield revoked the assurance as he thinks it ‘lacks necessary details’.
Nevertheless, Boris is also unpopular in Europe for his anti-Europe rhetoric in his early journalistic career. He portrayed Europe as ‘wasteful, bloated bureaucracy.’
Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester Rob Ford thinks that English nationalists are the major voters of BREXIT. They don’t care much about the union and the ‘no deal’ BREXIT may pave the path of breaking the union.
Boris has promised to leave EU on October 31 this year. The nationalists and BREXIT protesters are also ready with their movements. Now, time will tell everything what is up to!