If Boris Johnson’s name is ever linked to a political idea, it is likely to be “cakeism” — the notion that it is possible to govern without making hard choices. Johnson’s famous remark that, when it comes to cake, he is “pro having it and pro eating it too” has defined his approach to Brexit. Its feasibility will soon be put to the test, when (as seems inevitable), he becomes prime minister later in July after winning the Conservative party leadership election.

As a leadership candidate,  Johnson has run a strongly cakeist campaign. He has promised that he can secure a better Brexit deal within months. But he has also assured the public that, if this new deal proves elusive, a no-deal Brexit would be “vanishingly inexpensive if you prepare”.

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