Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit plan for Britain remains an enigma

Now that the country is untrained by most of the EU rules, it has the once-in-a-generation political opportunity to change Britain and define the direction of the European Union. It is unknown what he will do with that opportunity.

Brexit was introduced by some longtime advocates as a way to bring a new dynamism to the UK to reduce the red tape of Brussels, the freechannel “Singapore-on-Thames” —a phrase coined by the previous British Treasury chief. Was billed as. , Philip Hammond — selling his goods and services worldwide.

UK Post-EU Future

But Mr. Johnson is not a free-market conservative in the mold of Margaret Thatcher. Mr. For Johnson and many Brexit supporters, leaving the European Union was about returning and consolidating legislative powers with elected representatives in Britain rather than pursuing specific policy goals. He has so far promised Britain more regulation, not less, with ambitious plans to raise the minimum wage and curb greenhouse-gas emissions. He has promised more state spending, not less, “levels” an economy he says is dependent on London and southern England.

Such policies enabled him to win a major victory in last year’s elections in traditionally hostile districts with ruling conservatives, while his pursuit of Brexit left many of his party’s traditional allies in the corporate boardroom. All these tensions present a puzzle: If Mr Johnson does not want another Thatcher-style economic revolution, what does he want to do with Britain’s independence from Brussels?

His first job is to prove another difficult year. Disruption from the new trade regime with Britain’s largest export market puts the economic recovery at risk from the epidemic.

The resolution to revive leftist areas in the 2019 election is now finding difficult given that the virus has made a hole in Britain’s public finances.

The epidemic is not over by itself: the country is on the loose and growing infections in the new year with a new version of coronovirus that will reduce future deaths. Even with an immunization program on track, it would be months before Kovid-19 had enough control to lift economic sanctions, with resistance likely to continue from the rest of his own party. Meanwhile, Scottish nationalists are eager for another shot at independence.

Although Brexit is done, Mr Johnson’s long-term vision for the UK is unclear, political observers say. Simon Usherwood, a professor of politics at the University of Surrey, said, “He has opportunities to express some kind of grand scheme, but I don’t think he has one and I don’t think he needs one. “

A deal between Britain and the European Union came on Thursday, well ahead of the one-year deadline, giving Britain significant freedom to depart from EU rules and sign free-trade deals with other countries. Photo: Paul Grover / Pool

The European Union’s fear that Mr Johnson wants to create a low-tax, low-regulation economy guided the bloc’s strict approach in the Brexit negotiations. There was concern that Britain would become a low-cost competitor at the doorstep of the European Union, able to reduce European companies because its standards were low. The European Union’s answer was to create a trade agreement, under which, if Britain dropped its standards – by changing the law to allow factories to spread more pollution – it would lose tariff-free access to the bloc.

Mr Johnson looked for talks to maximize UK independence from the regulation of the block. But, in important areas of policy, their plans mirror or augment those of the European Union, rather than their undercuts.

His major electoral victory in 2019 was on a manifesto that included promises to raise the minimum wage and close on corporate tax avoidance. In policy announcements covering environment and climate change, the UK has set ambitious targets that go beyond the commitments set by the European Union. Meanwhile, the Bank of England has said that it will not reduce capital requirements and other regulations on banks.

Mr Johnson, who was the major public face of the Brexit movement, hailed Britain’s departure from the European Union as a return to sovereignty. In speeches, he has trumpeted traditional conservative priorities such as lower taxes and deregulation, tougher policing and stricter immigration rules.

But he has also traditionally spoken in favor of left-of-center targets, such as investment in industry in infrastructure and free support, including greater protection from foreign acquisitions, marking a break from market conservatism, in which ruling observers championed Made it. Since the premiere of Mrs. Thatcher. He is in favor of strict environmental regulations and bans the export of live animals for slaughter.

It is unclear which part of political thought will dominate the rest of his time in office.

Promising more investment in health care, policing and education at the Conservative Party conference this year, Mr. Johnson said, “Our plan to rebuild this country will not be extinguished at all.” But in the same speech he warned that the state cannot function forever as “Uncle Chinese”.

Mixed political messages mean that his vision is blurred for how Britain will withdraw from the European Union after Brexit. The departure in November of Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s top adviser and one of the masterminds behind the Brexit referendum, adds to this uncertainty.

After Johnson’s accession, Mr Cummings had presented the most detailed approach to Britain after Brexit. He has written extensively about how Britain would be without the constraints of EU regulation, able to more faithfully manage issues such as climate change, immigration change, urbanization and using big technology.

Foresight led to the creation of a new state, which could quickly intervene with regulation and Twinter investment and innovation. He argued that Britain would maintain economic competitiveness by becoming a leading center for scientific research and cutting-edge industries such as artificial intelligence and green technology.

Becomes the first country in the West to approve Pfizer Inc.

And Biotech SEOf

Vaccine against Kovid-19, UK indicated the regulatory allegiance Mr Johnson and Mr Cummings envisaged.

Brexit aside, Mr Johnson’s signature election pledge was to revive the former industrial areas of the UK with lavish taxpayer-funded investments in schools, hospitals and infrastructure. Johnson’s treasury chief, Sage Craze, has included “freeports” in low-tax manufacturing sectors that he says are encouraged to avoid tax, as multinationals set up factories and create new jobs Made a place to do.

Internationally, the outlook for Britain after Brexit is better defined. Mr Johnson spoke of Britain as a global protector of free trade, human rights and combating climate change, highlighting London acting as a global fixer, in forums such as the Group of Seven and the United Nations. Is above weight. For example, officials have already increased military spending and will use their financial clutches to develop sanctions to prevent human rights abuses.

A central goal of Brexit was to provide Britain with the ability to trade independent trade deals with the European Union. Officials argue that outside the European Union the UK can make deals with countries that are in line with the UK’s service-centric economy.

So far, the new UK, along with countries such as Japan and Mexico, has replicated those already in force with the European Union. A major target is america

Johnson’s office was relieved when the Prime Minister was among the first European leaders to receive a call from President-Elect Joe Biden, after spending years congratulating Donald Trump. But the presidential-election has indicated that it is in no hurry to offer any trade deal, given domestic priorities.

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

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