Over the summer, former British Prime Minister Theresa May stepped down from her duties, giving room for a new leader to be sworn in: Boris Johnson.
Wait, this Boris Johnson?
Yes, that is Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the man who has created quite the image over the years as someone unafraid of poking fun at himself. He has zip lined with the Union Jack (as seen above) and is known for purposely making his hair unkempt. Recently he created a Snapchat account, featuring his very own Boris Bitmoji.
But he's also famous for being one of the strongest Brexit supporters, all the way back from the original vote in June 2016. His election as prime minister seemed like somewhat of a logical next step to the Conservatives. May stepped down due to failures to find a Brexit deal, which lead to her party voting for their next leader. Though not every eligble Conservative Party member who could vote did, Johnson defeated rival Jeremy Hunt to gain the premiership.
Didn’t something else happen with Parliament?
Since the prime minister does not have the power to suspend Parliament, Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II to do so for the five weeks before the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline. Parliament has been suspended before, but usually just for a few days, not weeks at a time. This would make it much more difficult to take any action against the prime minister’s plans for Brexit.
Can he even do that?
In short, no. This decision was soon after declared unconstitutional by the U.K. Supreme Court, which reversed the decision since it hinders the ability for Parliament to accomplish its constitutional duties. After this ruling, many politicians suggested they will vote on a no-confidence measure against Johnson. However, this could be hard to achieve, as his party holds the majority in Parliament.
So now what?
It’s hard to say. At the moment, not much can be done against Johnson, and in terms of Brexit, the outlook is just as vague. Recently, Hilary Benn of the Labour party pushed a bill through the House of Commons that prohibits the U.K. from leaving the European Union without a deal. However, Johnson insists he will remove the U.K. from the EU even if no deal has been reached by the deadline.
Johnson also plans on suspending Parliament again, this time for six days. While this is much more in line with previous suspensions, it would mean doing away with the week’s PMQ, or Prime Minister's Question Time (a weekly chance for members of Parliament to confront Johnson with questions).
It seems that no matter who the prime minister is, Britain continues to struggle in a state of limbo, unsure of its future relationship with (or without) the European Union.