Boris, Brexit & Britain

Written by  //  December 1, 2019  //  Europe & EU, U.K./Britain  //  No comments

Brexit: What is the Irish border backstop?
The Guardian Brexit
BBC: Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU
Brexit, EU & UK – June 2019
Boris, Brexit & Britain July-November 2019

In Prince Andrew Scandal, Prince Charles Emerges as Monarch-in-Waiting
After a public-relations debacle stirred questions about the role of Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales is asserting a newfound authority in British royal affairs.
(NYT) The Prince of Wales was said to be worried that the scandal had spiraled so rapidly that it was threatening to eclipse this month’s general election in Britain, The Times of London reported.
The latest crisis erupted at a time when Britain’s political leaders, paralyzed by Brexit, are in little position to help. Far from steadying the crown, … today’s politicians are drawing her into their own frantic machinations.
Critics accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of misleading the queen when he asked her to suspend Parliament for a period of weeks, rather than the customary few days, in an effort to curtail parliamentary discussion and action on Brexit. The decision was later declared illegal by Britain’s Supreme Court.

29 November
Bloomberg Politics: Election peril | U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is leading opinion polls but, as he heads into the final campaign stretch for the Dec. 12 election, he could be facing his biggest danger yet. …Trump’s brief visit to London next week — to mark NATO’s 70th anniversary — has senior Conservatives worried for a whole host of reasons.

27 November
UK’s Conservatives set for biggest win since 1987: YouGov model
(Reuters) – Britain’s Conservative Party is on course to win its biggest majority in parliament since 1987 at a Dec. 12 election, according to a new poll, which would give Prime Minister Boris Johnson a mandate to take the country out of the European Union.
“The swing to the Conservative party is bigger in areas that voted to Leave in 2016, with the bulk of the projected Tory gains coming in the North and the urban West Midlands, as well as former mining seats in the East Midlands,” said Wells.

25 November
All I want for Christmas is Brexit
Boris Johnson sets out timetable if he wins the election.
(Politico Eu) “My early Christmas present to the nation will be to bring the Brexit bill back before the festive break, and get parliament working for the people,” Boris Johnson said ahead of the Conservative manifesto launch on Sunday. “As families sit down to carve up their turkeys this Christmas, I want them to enjoy their festive season free from the seemingly unending Brexit box-set drama.”
But far from being free from drama, Johnson’s pledge will mean Brexit upheaval that could last right up to Christmas Eve.
Downing Street announced today that the queen will make her trip for the state opening of parliament on Thursday, December 19 — presumably with some degree of déjà vu after she went through the same ceremony in October when Johnson closed and re-opened the parliamentary session. The state opening will take a full day and no government business can be brought forward until after it is finished.

Boris Johnson plays for time with a cautious, tepid manifesto
Prime minister pins his hope on ‘getting Brexit done’ while not scoring any own goals
(The Guardian) Take no chances. Make no mistakes. Maintain strict message discipline. …the Conservatives think the only way they can lose the election is if they throw it away.
The contrast between the manifesto launched by Boris Johnson and Labour’s last week was marked. Behind in the polls and with only three weeks to go before election day, Jeremy Corbyn has gambled that voters are ready for radicalism.
The prime minister, by contrast, is seeking to run down the clock until 12 December, relying on the fact that his “get Brexit done” line has cut through. Things started to go pear-shaped for Theresa May in 2017 when her manifesto plans for social care were dubbed a “dementia tax”. This time, the Conservatives have said the answer is to build a long-term, cross-party consensus.
Johnson’s pitch throughout the campaign has been that Britain’s departure from the EU will unleash a wave of pent-up investment and, by ending the uncertainty, lead to faster economic growth. But there is no guarantee that this will happen, particularly since even if Brexit does go ahead on 31 January next year, the rest of 2020 will be spent trying to conclude a trade deal with the EU before the transition period ends,
… The safety first approach has its risks. Pledging to spend more on hospitals, schools and the police has been a recognition that voters have wearied of austerity and want a change of course. This is an election that is being fought on ground that suits Labour.

11 November
Brexit party will not contest 317 Tory-won seats, Farage says
Party leader announces election climbdown in effort to avoid splitting leave vote
Nigel Farage has said the Brexit party will not field any candidates against the Conservatives in the 317 seats they won at the last general election, after Boris Johnson committed to leaving the EU by 2020 and pursuing a Canada-style trade deal.
Farage said his party’s climbdown came after months of trying to create a leave alliance with the Tories, but he felt it was time to put the country before his party and make a “unilateral” move.
He will announce on Friday in which seats the Brexit party is standing. Speculation continues over where the party will stand but it is not expected to run in Northern Ireland or parts of Scotland.
As he spelled out his general election strategy at a rally in Hartlepool, which voted 70% to leave the UK, Farage said he had concluded that if the Brexit party had stood a candidate in every seat it could split the vote and usher in dozens of Liberal Democrat MPs and, in turn, create the circumstances for a second referendum.

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