Michael Tory (Letters, June 17) posits at length the compilation of concerns potentially to be invoked by Boris Johnson if he becomes prime minister, whereby to call a general election on the issue of who governs Britain. Namely: whether to escape an oppressive EU, defy a parliament that refuses to implement the result of the referendum which it decreed, and obviate socialism (under Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn).

That would indeed be a very sound rationale on which to proceed, doubtless scaring silly all stripes of the political left. Seeking concessions on the EU’s straitjacket of a withdrawal treaty would actually be a pointlessly demeaning approach in the interim, when a comprehensive free trade deal should be offered instead, otherwise no deal. On what legitimate grounds, then, would Mr Tory pose the bizarre question of how to stop Mr Johnson? Don’t think too long about it; the answer is none.

Incidentally, though, the gambit did not work in the 1970s, but backfired. When Mr Heath asked the country in 1974 whether the government or the unions should prevail, the electorate disliked having its intelligence insulted and removed him from office.

Mr Johnson’s version (if it is he) should be in the form of a bold declaration of intent to govern an independent and democratic country — putting the UK first indeed — with a fresh mandate, not a plea for merciful support, which isn’t needed.

Andrew Shouler
Grays, Essex, UK

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