Get Brexit done!

It is the day after the General Election in Britain and Boris Johnson, the newly re-elected Prime Minister of the country, is standing on the steps of Downing Street delivering his address to the nation. Within 30 seconds of starting his speech, that oft-repeated phrase ‘Get Brexit done’ has tripped from his lips. This well-trodden phrase, that was at the heart of the Tory election strategy, is now a permanent feature of the Prime Minister’s  discourse.

The scene is reminiscent of Theresa May’s first days in Downing Street in 2016, just three years earlier, when she shared a similar slogan with us: ‘Brexit means Brexit. At the time, it seemed so obvious and clear to us what this meant. But as the months and years rolled by, it became clear that the tautologous expression was anything but clear. In fact, it became a ‘holding’ statement, trotted out to satisfy the media and the people when nothing seemed to be happening. Until it became a liability, of course.

I blogged about the history of this phrase from first use until it was sent into retirement sometime in early 2019. It will be interesting to see whether Johnson’s mantra of ‘Get Brexit done’ will follow a similar path. What does ‘Get Brexit done’ mean? Is January the 31st the endpoint? When will Brexit be done and who will determine this? I will be checking back in on this statement as the weeks and months roll by.


Some other expressions from Johnson’s speech outside 10 Downing Street:

one nation government
people's government
overwhelming mandate
parliament that works for you
new partnership
find closure
unite and level up
unleashing the potential
a parliament that works for the people




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