Thursday (June 16th): Johnson Breaks International Law! 

Boris Johnson (Bojo) United Kingdom
Boris Johnson

Name? Boris Johnson 

Westphalian identity? British 

Age? 57 

Why is he in the news? British PM Boris Johnson is in the news again this week after European backlash has reached him over two British policy moves. First is his government’s attempt to alter the Northern Ireland Protocol – which has resulted in the EU taking legal action – and second is the planned deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda, cancelled by the European Court of Human rights minutes before take off. 

Why do we care? If anything highlights the shortcomings of Johnson’s (unending) Brexit negotiations it is the example of the EU’s ability to impede his policy in the UK. Unilateral alteration of the Northern Ireland Protocol is a violation of international law, pairing nicely with Boris’ recent domestic law-breaking, which resulted in his barely-survived vote of no confidence

Why should you care? The EU’s decision to take legal action in this matter and its intervention in the deportation strategy highlight the importance of international law and the seriousness of British legal and human rights infringement. Johnson’s administration has been criticised for being domestically callous, but this week’s events show him taking this to the international level, and being stopped in his tracks. You should care 6/10. 

Who else cares? European Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič claimed there was no justification for the alterations to the protocol and that the UK had ‘left them with no choice’ but to take legal action. The power that the EU still has over a supposedly post-Brexit Britain proves slogans like ‘Take back control’ somewhat hollow…

Any further comments? Johnson seems in a terminal decline; between the cost of living crisis, ‘Partygate’ scandals and his rebranding as an international criminal, many in the UK, including some of his own party, are counting down the days of his leadership. Furthermore, Johnson appears to have run out of ways to use these news flashy moves to distract from other personal failures.