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Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit plan remains a mystery

Boris Johnson's post-Brexit plan remains a mystery

Now that the country is unfettered by most EU rules, he has a political opportunity, once in a generation, to reshape the UK and set its direction after the European Union. The big unknown is what he will do with this opportunity.

Brexit has long been described by some of its defenders as a way to unleash a new dynamic in Britain by shaking off the red tape of Brussels to create a low and free tax in “Singapore on the Thames” – a phrase coined by the former British chief of treasury, Philip Hammond – sells its goods and services all over the world.

Post-European future in the United Kingdom

But Mr. Johnson is not a free-market conservative like Margaret Thatcher. For Mr Johnson and many of the Brexit supporters, leaving the European Union was about returning and strengthening legislative powers with Britain’s elected representatives, rather than pursuing specific political goals. The British have so far promised more regulation, not less, ambitious plans to raise the minimum wage and curb greenhouse gas emissions. He has promised more government spending, not less, to “upgrade” the economy which he says is highly dependent on London and southern England.

Such policies enabled him to score a big victory in last year’s elections in territories traditionally hostile to the ruling Conservative Party, while his relentless pursuit of Brexit alienated many of his party’s traditional allies on corporate boards of directors. All these tensions present a mystery: if Mr Johnson does not want another economic revolution akin to that of Thatcher, what does he want to do with the liberation of Britain from Brussels?

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His first job is to deal with what could prove to be another difficult year. Disruption caused by new trade arrangements with the UK’s largest export market could hamper this Economic recovery from the epidemic.

The 2019 electoral pledge to revive abandoned areas looks more difficult now that the virus has created a hole in the UK’s public finances.

The epidemic itself is not over yet: the country heads into the new year A new type of coronavirus is on the loose And the increase in infections will lead to an inevitable number of deaths in the future. even with The vaccination program is on the right trackIt will be months before Covid-19 is under sufficient control to lift the economic restrictions, which are likely to continue to be resisted by the troubled sections of his party. Meanwhile, Scottish nationalists yearn Another shot on independence.

However, despite the implementation of Brexit, Johnson’s long-term vision for the UK is not clear, political observers say. “He had opportunities to craft some kind of grand plan, but I don’t think he has a plan, and I don’t think he feels he needs one,” said Simon Osherwood, a professor of political science at Surrey.

An agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union came on Thursday, days before the end-of-year deadline, giving Britain great freedom to exit European Union regulations and sign free trade agreements with other countries. Photo: Paul Grover / Paul

The EU’s fear that Mr Johnson will seek to create a low-tax, low-regulation economy has guided the bloc’s tough approach to Brexit negotiations. The concern was that the UK could become a low-cost competitor on the EU’s doorstep, able to undermine European companies because their standards were lower. The European Union’s response was to build a trade agreement under which, if the UK abandoned its standards – let’s say by changing the law to allow factories to be further polluted – it would lose access to the block without tariffs.

In the negotiations, Mr Johnson sought to maximize the UK’s liberalization of bloc regulations. But in important areas of politics, his plans reflect or increase those of the European Union, rather than undermine them.

for him A big electoral victory in 2019 It was on a statement that included promises to raise the minimum wage and crack down on corporate tax evasion. In policy announcements covering the environment and climate change, the UK has set ambitious targets that go beyond the commitments set out by the European Union. Meanwhile, the Bank of England said it would not relax capital requirements and other regulations on banks.

Mr Johnson, who has been the leading public face of the Brexit movement, hailed Brexit Reclaiming sovereignty. In his speeches, he praised traditional conservative priorities such as low taxes and deregulation, tighter police procedures and stricter immigration rules.

But he has also spoken in favor of traditional center-left goals, such as lavish investment in infrastructure and state support for the industry, including greater protection from foreign acquisitions, marking a departure from the free market orthodoxy championed by ruling conservatives. Since the premiership of Mrs. Thatcher. Strict environmental rules are preferred and it is forbidden to export live animals for slaughter.

It is not clear what kind of tension in political thought would dominate the rest of his time in office.

“Our plan to rebuild this country will not be derailed,” Johnson told a Conservative Party conference this year, pledging more investment in health care, police and education. In the same speech, however, he warned that the state could not behave like a “sugar uncle” forever.

Mixed political messages mean that his vision of how Britain will deviate from the European Union is unclear. The Dominic Cummings’ departure in NovemberJohnson’s chief adviser and one of the masterminds behind the Brexit referendum, adds to this uncertainty.

Among Johnson’s escorts, Mr. Cummings provided the most detailed view of Britain after Brexit. He wrote extensively about how Britain, without the limitations of the European Union, would be able to manage issues such as climate change, migration shifts, urbanization, and big tech harnesses.

The vision predicts a new situation that could quickly intervene to alter regulation and thus boost investment and innovation. He said Britain will maintain its economic competitiveness by becoming a leading center for scientific research and cutting-edge industries such as artificial intelligence and green technology.

To become the first country in the West to agree

Pfizer a company

And the

BioNTech SE‘s

A vaccine against Covid-19, the UK has provided clear evidence of the type of organizational agility that Mr Johnson and Mr Cummings envisioned.

Aside from Brexit, Johnson’s remarkable electoral pledge was to revitalize UK’s former industrial zones through generous taxpayer-funded investment in schools, hospitals and infrastructure. Rishi Sunak, chief of treasury at Johnson, has championed “free ports” – low-tax manufacturing zones that skeptics say encourage tax evasion, as places for multinational corporations to set up factories and create new jobs.

Internationally, Britain’s post-Brexit vision is better defined. Mr Johnson spoke of Britain’s becoming a global advocate for free trade, human rights and the fight against climate change, highlighting London’s aspirations to act as a global mediator, and bypassing its weight in forums such as the G7 and the United Nations. She already has it It resulted in higher military spending Officials say, for example, that it will use its financial clout to develop sanctions to punish human rights violations.

The primary goal of Brexit was to give the United Kingdom the ability to do business deals independent of the European Union. Officials say the UK outside the European Union can negotiate deals with countries better designed for the service-focused UK economy.

So far, Britain’s new deals with countries like Japan and Mexico have largely replicated those already with the European Union. The main target is the United States

Johnson’s office was comforted as the prime minister was among the first European leaders To receive a call from President-elect Joe BidenAfter spending years courting

Donald Trump. But the president-elect indicated that he is in no hurry to offer anyone a business deal, given pressing domestic priorities.

Write to Jason Douglas at [email protected] and Max Colchester at [email protected]

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