London, England – Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual briefing.
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LONDON – Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson is self-immolating after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for coronovirus, but it comes at a difficult time for his leadership, a reboot of government policies and Drag as Brexit talks.
Back in April, Johnson, seriously ill with Kovid-19, announced on Sunday that he was self-segregated at his own abode. The UK asks people who have been exposed to a positive case of coronavirus for self-isolation since 14 days.
“I am in good health and have no symptoms, and will continue to lead our response to the virus,” Johnson said on Twitter on Monday.
The time for self-isolation is difficult, however, as he is this week to reveal a host of new policies. The reboot, which is expected to include environmentally friendly policies, comes after the departure of prominent political adviser Dominic Cummings, who had a leading role in Johnson’s successful Brexit campaign. Communications director Lee Caine also left the team last week.
The Prime Minister was to attend an important parliamentary session on Wednesday, but now it can be through a virtual call.
“I will have a lot to say in the next few days … through Zoom and other means of electronic communication,” the Prime Minister said.
Johnson is also under pressure on Brexit as negotiations with the European Union continue.
“Cummings’ departure will facilitate an agreement (with the EU),” said consultancy firm Eurasia Group managing director Mujtaba Rahman on Monday, CNBC’s Street Signs reported on Monday. “He was an important proponent of a hard line against the European Union. (He) is pushing for maximum flexibility on the question of state aid and the government is not signing level sports commitments with the European Union.”
UK and EU negotiators have gathered in Brussels this week for more talks on their future relations. The UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016 and exited the block in January. However, it is currently in a transition phase by December to establish new trade rules with 27 EU countries.
Their negotiations on fishing rights, competition rules and the important differences of governance over their future dealings have been stuck for months. Failure to bridge these gaps by the end of the year will mean no trade agreements, and high costs for exporters on both sides.
“Both are going to give a little,” Rahman said. “I don’t think there will be a deal this week,” he said, but a deal was possible later this month. Valentin Marinov, head of G10 foreign exchange research at Credit Agricole, also told CNBC on Monday that he expects a deal before the end of the year.
UK head Brexit negotiator David Frost said on Sunday that “there has been some progress in positive direction in recent times,” adding that talks could still collapse and businesses should therefore be prepared for a possible disruption in January.
The British pound was hovering around $ 1.317 on Monday morning. The currency was currently trading around the level it was at the beginning of the year after a massive dip in March in view of the first coronavirus wave in Europe.