Updated: Sunday, 5th April 2020 @ 10:41am

Could Boris Johnson's majority lead to a SOFTER Brexit? MM's hot take on what the future may hold...

Could Boris Johnson's majority lead to a SOFTER Brexit? MM's hot take on what the future may hold...

| By Richard Hansen

The official exit poll released after voting closed forecasts a large Conservative majority of around 90 MPs.

The seats that the party are on track to gain have arguably come because they have offered a clearer Brexit policy and are keen to see the result of the 2016 referendum implemented.

Brexit will now definitely happen and the UK will leave the EU on January 31 next year – but what form will it take?  

The implications for returning Prime Minister Boris Johnson are far reaching. For the first time since 1992 the Conservatives have a majority of more than a few seats. As a result, they are no longer held hostage by the Hard Brexit-advocating European Research Group (ERG) on the backbenches of their party.

After all, the ERG are widely known to have handed Theresa May her “red lines” with regard to freedom of movement, memberships of the single market and customs union as well as jurisdiction of the European court systems. 

Johnson now has the numbers in parliament to afford a number of Conservative rebels in any future trade deal and has much more freedom to pursue a different deal of his own. 

This may lead Johnson to soften his rhetoric on Brexit and move onto a more One Nation Conservative footing. Rarely in his political life has Johnson been in a position to reveal his true stance on many issues but he may finally be allowed the political space to show this. 

It is widely known that before declaring for a campaign in 2016 he wrote an article advocating Remain and another advocating Leave, coming down on the side of Leave as he felt it would be more politically advantageous. 

Johnson, with his metropolitan background, may soften his Brexit position now that he has the room to do so. This may prove popular with a wider cross section of the electorate and opposition parties will find it harder to oppose if it is seen to cause less damage to the economy. 

It may also set the Tories up for future electoral challenges, as many of these traditionally Labour voting constituencies will have only lent the Tories their votes in order to accomplish Brexit. Any future deal with the EU will have to minimise economic impact in these areas otherwise they risk swinging back to Labour in the next election. 

Furthermore, this thumping majority will undoubtedly strengthen the UK hand in future EU negotiations which may also lead to a more favourable trading relationship. 

While the UK will definitely leave the EU on January 31 next year, the future relationship is still yet to be negotiated so we will not have to wait very long for Johnson to show his true political colours. The trust put in him by working class voters – for whom he can thank for his majority – will not last long unless he is able to keep these people on side.