Boris Johnson has to get used to the role of ‘convenor-in-chief’ – rather than the UK leading the world

We finally need to accept the constraints of Britain’s size and work more collaboratively within our limitations, writes Mary Dejevsky

Thursday 10 June 2021 23:14
<p>The PM would love a leading role at the summit, but ...</p>

The PM would love a leading role at the summit, but ...

Boris Johnson is one fortunate politician – and the exigencies of the Covid-19 pandemic and his own brush with death should not be allowed to obscure that.

He stayed his bid for the Conservative leadership immediately after the Brexit referendum and returned as victor after Theresa May proved unequal to the task. He gambled on a December election in 2019, and won a landslide majority. Rightly or wrongly, none of the persistent complaints against him has – so far – stuck.

He emerges into (what we must hope is) the post-pandemic world as prime minister of a UK that holds the presidency of the top countries’ club, the G7, and will host Cop26, the global gathering on climate, this autumn. In between will come the final stages of the postponed Euro 2020, to be held in London. The clustering of these UK-based gatherings is coincidental, but Johnson could hardly have wished for a better stage from which to project Brexit Britain as a global presence. If – and it is a very big if – he can play it right.

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