Brexit is going to damage Boris Johnson in 2022 – but not in the way you might expect

It is not the issue of trade that could pose a threat to the prime minister, writes John Rentoul, but something fundamental to the idea of self-determination

Friday 31 December 2021 15:00 GMT
<p>Boris Johnson striding into the new year </p>

Boris Johnson striding into the new year

Brexit and, to a lesser extent, Covid-19 are two of the things that Boris Johnson might have thought he “got done” 12 months ago, and yet here we are at the beginning of another year likely to be dominated by both.

A year ago yesterday, Bill Cash, the longest standing Eurosceptic Conservative MP, hailed the prime minister’s triumph in negotiating a trade deal with the EU. “Like Alexander the Great, Boris has cut the Gordian knot. Churchill and Margaret Thatcher would have been deeply proud of his achievements, and so are we,” he said in the Commons debate on the EU (Future Relationship) Bill, which became law a year ago tomorrow. “Regaining our right to govern ourselves is a true turning point in our great history. In peacetime, it compares only with the restoration by Monck in 1660.”

A comparison worth discussing in an A-level history paper, but however towering the achievement, it was not the end of Brexit – as Johnson and David Frost, his former Brexit negotiator, spent much of last year trying to renegotiate parts of the original withdrawal agreement.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in