Boris Johnson's first full day as UK Prime Minister

10:48 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019

What if nothing changes over summer?

Parliament is about to start its summer recess on the hottest day of the year.

When it returns in September, who knows what – if anything – will have changed in Brexit.

It's worth reflecting on the fact that Brexit could have happened on March 29, had lawmakers approved Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement (which of course Johnson himself voted in favor of that day).

When the new prime minister announced that he would support May's deal, he said “I genuinely think that unless this thing gets through, the House of Commons is going to steal Brexit." His logic was, it's this Brexit or Brexit might not happen at all.

If nothing changes over summer and Johnson does indeed push for a no-deal Brexit, he might find parliament even more obstructive than they were with Theresa May.

So it might be a September standoff. No deal or no Brexit. Then the key question will be, do Johnson's rebel MPs have the guts to crash his government and trigger a general election?

Here's hoping everyone in Westminster gets some rest over summer. They'll need it.

10:15 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019

Boris Johnson will speak with Jean-Claude Juncker

Boris Johnson is scheduled to have a phone call with the outgoing president of the European Union later today, according to tweet sent by his spokesperson.

While Juncker is approaching the end of his term, he will still be president on October 31, the day Brexit is due to happen.

9:32 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019

Is a no-deal Brexit more likely?

One of the only things we know for certain about Brexit is this: only a fool would try and predict where all this ends up.

That said, Boris Johnson's stated policy does on paper make no deal more likely.

If his red lines on only accepting a deal that completely changes the backstop is true then there is not deal to be done, given the EU's red lines.

If his plans to better prepare the nation for a no deal by giving the civil service extra cash to get ready are executed properly, then he could win over more of his colleagues in parliament to back no deal.

And if his position that the UK will withhold the agree Brexit divorce bill from Brussels, goodwill from the Europeans to even offer small concessions to the UK on the future relationship between London and Europe will collapse.

So is no-deal Brexit more likely? In a word, yes.

8:34 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019

What happens now? A summer of noise

Despite the Brexit emergency facing the UK, lawmakers are about to leave Parliament for the summer. They won't return until September.

That, however, doesn't mean that politics will take a holiday. The summer will likely be dominated by members of Boris's new-look cabinet outlining their plans for getting a new deal out of Brussels and, should that fail, doubling down on Johnson's willingness to leave the EU without a deal.

Most of Europe's politicians will also be on holiday, but expect the line to be repeated over and over again that there is no negotiation to be had.

Back in the UK, Johnson's opponents will no doubt spend their summer planning ways to stop him in his tracks and possibly bring down his government.

And when Parliament returns in September, everyone will return to the exact same stalemate that defeated Theresa May for so long.

A summer of noise might be entertaining. But it's unlikely to change much in the real world.

7:55 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019

Boris Johnson: UK better prepared for no deal than many believe

Boris Johnson said in his first address as Prime Minister in Parliament that he hoped the European Union would rethink its current refusal to make any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement.

He went on to say that if the EU cannot be swayed the UK will of course have to leave without an agreement. The new PM then went on to say that the UK is better prepared for that scenario than many believe but more work for that outcome still needs to be done.

"In the 98 days that remain to us, we must turbocharge our preparations to make sure there is as little disruption as possible to our national life," Johnson said.

7:42 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019

Meanwhile, Theresa May watches cricket

Theresa May at Lord's cricket ground
Theresa May at Lord's cricket ground

Theresa May, whom Boris Johnson took over from on Wednesday, has chosen to spend her day away from Westminster.

England are currently playing Ireland in a Test match at Lord's cricket ground. May, a known cricket fan, clearly found it a more attractive option than watching Johnson's first statement to the Commons.

It looks like her summer holiday has started a day early.

7:28 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019

"Bluster and guff" on the Irish border

Yvette Cooper, Labour lawmaker and chair of the UK's Home Affairs Select Committee, asked Boris Johnson about the thorniest Brexit issue: the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

It's the single most complicated issue in the Brexit negotiations and the "backstop", a mechanism in the Withdrawal Agreement designed to avoid a hard border, has been used by Euroskeptics as the main reason for voting May's Brexit deal down.

Cooper asked if Johnson could give specific details about the technology he so often claims will make a border not necessary, or were his claims just more "bluster and guff?" Johnson replied that there are "abundant facilitations," that would avoid a hard border.

Cooper didn't look satisfied with his answer.

7:26 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019

"The last prime minister of the United Kingdom"

Ian Blackford, who leads the Scottish National Party in Westminster, welcomed Boris Johnson to his new job as the "last prime minister of the United Kingdom."

The SNP has long campaigned for Scottish independence, which if successful would bring about the end of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The sanctity of the Union is a key issue for the Conservative Party, formally called the Conservative and Unionist Party. Brexit has made the UK's future look shakier than ever and suggesting that under Johnson's watch the Union could collapse is hitting the new prime minister where it hurts.

7:10 a.m. ET, July 25, 2019

Johnson: Corbyn has "turned into a Remainer"

In a sign of what is to come, Johnson has branded the leader of the opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, a Euroskeptic who has "turned into a Remainer."

This comes at the very same time the Labour party's internal debate over whether or not it should formally become an anti-Brexit party reaches its hottest point.

Despite both parties formally claiming that they don't want an early election, it's hard not to raise an eye at these naked attempts to prepare the battleground.