Boris Johnson has been warned his election will win not help him solve the problems facing his plans to ‘get Brexit done’.
Despite a majority of more than 80 MPs, his win will not give him any extra leverage in Brussels, with further warning that it is unlikely he will be able to get the issue resolved by the end of 2020.
Sir Ivan Rogers, a former British envoy to the EU, told the Observer that he believes Boris Johnson will be forced into accepting major concessions if he wants to stick to his timetabled departure.
He also said that he believed it was a mistake to believe Johnson’s landslide win would change how the EU handles negotiations.
“People always think that, but this is the category error that we always make,” he told the newspaper. “That somehow the strength of your mandate and majority at home makes the slightest difference to how the other side negotiates.
“It’s not totally a repeat game, but it’s essentially the same methodology as 2017, and [the EU] almost certainly think they have the UK somewhat over a barrel, given the prime minister’s self-imposed very tight time pressure in saying he will under no circumstances extend the transition.”
He continued: “It’s because you say you have no intention of remaining aligned that the negotiation will take the time.
“What exactly is the point of Johnson’s Brexit as opposed to [Theresa] May’s if he is actually saying that he wishes to remain aligned? The endless ambiguity and telling all sides what they want to hear ends when you start negotiating. See what he does, not what he says.”
The withdrawal agreement says that the transition period can be extended by “one or two years” but must be agreed before July.