Friday 20 December 2019 5:13 am

DEBATE: Will we see as much seismic political change in 2020 as we did this year?

Nicholas Mazzei is a corporate social responsibility adviser, and a former MEP candidate.
Max von Thun
Max von Thun is a political consultant and commentator

Will we see as much seismic political change in 2020 as we did this year?

Nicholas Mazzei, a corporate social responsibility adviser, says YES.

Despite the vast amount of news we’ve consumed on Brexit and British politics since the EU referendum, very little has actually happened policy-wise. Do not expect more of this in 2020.

Boris Johnson is the first Prime Minister in a generation to win a powerful majority, and enjoys loyalty not even Tony Blair could have dreamed of. Johnson will want to ensure that his legacy in government is not as dismal as Theresa May’s, and will be looking to surpass Margaret Thatcher’s.

We know he’ll start with Brexit, but don’t expect this to drag out like it did under May. He has a withdrawal deal ready and it will be voted through by his new MPs without question.

And that’s just the beginning. Johnson intends to create new super-departments, reform defence procurement, transform the constitution — and the House of Lords. We’ll see long overdue new constituency boundaries, and a much-needed smaller cabinet.

As Samuel L. Jackson said in Jurassic Park: “Hold onto your butts”. 2020 is going to be wild.

Max von Thun, a political commentator, says NO.

All the factors that made 2019 such a dramatic year politically — a government with a thin and then non-existent parliamentary majority, a change of Prime Minister, and a General Election — are extremely unlikely to be replicated next year.

Boris Johnson has just won himself the largest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher and will not face a challenge from his own party or the decimated opposition ranks anytime soon. With the most troublesome Tory rebels turfed out of the party and the ERG no longer powerful enough to swing key votes, he can expect little resistance to his legislative ambitions.

Yes, we will be leaving the EU by 31 January, but the built-in transition period means that very little will actually change next year.

And while Johnson has spooked currency markets by promising to enshrine into law a commitment to end the transition by December 2020, deal or no deal, both sides would much prefer a barebones trade deal to a full-blown crisis, with thorny issues left for future talks.

Main image credit: Getty

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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