Newsletter 10/07/2022 – Briefings For Great Britain
As UK readers are well aware, Boris Johnson was eventually forced to step down as Prime Minister by a flood of ministerial resignations.
As UK readers are well aware, Boris Johnson was eventually forced to step down as Prime Minister by a flood of ministerial resignations. Johnson’s record has been mixed, with strong accomplishments in some areas, but marred by unnecessary scandals and poor administration (not all his fault). Although much remains to be done, the race is on to find his successor, with a relatively wide range of candidates – see the Guido Fawkes website tracking MP endorsements.
Of Information sessions‘ view (and we hope from you our followers) the next leader of the party should have a firm commitment to UK autonomy on the world stage, in particular vis à vis Brussels. The number one priority here remains Northern Ireland. Johnson’s ousting came just weeks after he introduced legislation in parliament to address issues with the Northern Ireland protocol. His successor should not be allowed to quietly drop the bill – as European politicians would like.
However, it remains a lingering danger. The press reaction to Boris Johnson’s resignation reminds us that the Remainer establishment did not disappear and was only temporarily inactive. Several Conservative leadership candidates are likely to sabotage the NI protocol bill if they are successful. Although Information sessions does not have a preferred candidate, we recommend to be wary of personalities who claim to have accepted Brexit but who could embrace it de facto alignment with the EU in the name of “making it work”.
Good news, however, is that several high-ranking American Republicans, and most recently Mike Pompeo, have criticized the involvement of Democratic politicians in Northern Ireland affairs and said that the protocol is none of their business. America. A Republican victory in this fall’s midterm elections would remove a thorn in the side of the UK.
International affairs have hardly stopped either. Shinzo Abe, the former Japanese Prime Minister, was assassinated on Friday. Abe has championed a robust foreign policy, structural economic change and national social reform, and his murder is a shocking end to a distinguished career. In Sri Lanka, rioters stormed the presidential palace – the country is experiencing massive shortages linked to spikes in global inflation. In Ireland, the ruling coalition has lost its majority – although a vote of no confidence called by Sinn Fein looks likely to fail.
Editor Robert Tombs wrote an article for the The telegraph of the day analyzing the bizarre decision by Clare College administrators to try to remove the moniker “the Colony” from one of its residence halls. Information sessions Contributor Gwythian Prins wrote about the personal side of Boris Johnson’s resignation in this week’s Daily Express.
Editor Graham Gudgin continues to write to major daily newspapers to clarify the economic situation created by the Northern Ireland protocol. Here is the body of his recent letter to the Financial Times:
In his letter to the FT (July 2), Martin McDonald argued that the protocol does not harm Northern Ireland’s economy. He defended his thesis by doing what no respectable analyst would ever do. Of the five quarters of gross value added data from the Office for National Statistics since the introduction of the protocol in January 2021, it has selected the only three-month period in which Northern Ireland has achieved better results than the rest of the UK. This is outrageously misleading. If we take the whole period from the start of 2021, Northern Ireland was the third slowest growing UK region. It grew much slower than England and Scotland and slower than Wales, each of which was used as a comparator in the letter. This evidence is more likely to reflect a rebound from the pandemic than any impact of the Protocol, but whichever way one looks at it, it offers no support for the Protocol.
Why We Really Need To Give A Frackby Catherine McBride
Hydrocarbons have many more advantages than disadvantages for human prosperity. The UK is blessed with an abundance of shale gas and its development will help the global economy as well as many regions left behind. Only by increasing gas production and exports from the United Kingdom and the United States, thereby giving European countries a choice of gas suppliers, can the world contain Putin.
“Fracking should not be seen as anti-green. Natural gas is a much cleaner fuel than coal. The massive reduction in UK CO2 emissions since 1990 has come mainly from gas-fired power generation replacing coal-fired power generation; through better management of landfills reducing methane emissions; and outsourcing British manufacturing to Germany and China.
Fractures and logic
Boris Johnson’s forced resignation as Prime Minister will be seen by some as having come a little too late, on the grounds that he damaged public trust by remaining in office after so many scandals. Yet the Prime Minister retains significant support from a vocal minority – and a celebrity in Ukraine.
This is partly related to the distinctiveness of his personal style. Although Johnson benefited in 2019 from the fatigue of the Brexit rows and public mistrust of Jeremy Corbyn, his own irreverence, humor and positive energy also played a part in winning over voters who had no never voted Conservative before. This support fueled a sense that Johnson had a direct personal mandate from the electorate – rather than just a first among equals like previous prime ministers.
On the other hand, few of those who come forward to replace him have the same charisma or the same profile. Whether they are ideologically sound like Suella Braverman, Kemi Badenoch and (lately on Brexit) Liz Truss, or more arguably like Jeremy Hunt, Rishi Sunak or Tom Tugendhat, none have the drive of the former PM. Many, especially Tugendhat, have limited senior office experience – and even Sunak only achieved his first cabinet post under Johnson in 2019.
More broadly, the same challenges Johnson faced will continue to weigh on his successor. High inflation, soaring government spending and a potential global recession are plaguing countries around the world, and there are no easy options to deal with it. The pace and cost of decarbonisation, persuading Brussels to see reason on Northern Ireland, and the rampant culture wars add their own challenges.
And while Johnson was incredibly scandal-prone, blunders and blunders in politics are inevitable – ask Keir Starmer about the so-called “Beergate” scandal, for which he evaded prosecution not without controversy. If the Tories think removing Johnson removes their problems with him, they have something else to come.
We are also on Twitter, posting articles and retweeting daily events that bring Brexit to the fore in national news.
The discussion is also continuing on Facebook.
How you can help
There’s a lot about Britain’s relationship with Europe that remains to be determined. Our MPs listen to their constituents. Keep sending them links to our stories, especially on topics relevant to your constituency – for example, in rural areas, stories about the threat to UK agriculture. You can also make an appointment to speak with them at their next surgery. Let them know what you want Britain after Brexit to look like.
As Boris Johnson said in his post-election speech, now is also the time for unity and reconciliation. Keep reading our articles and share links to our great content to help others understand how leaving the EU benefits the UK economy and our own democratic governance. Our aim is to educate our critics to think differently and more positively about the long-term impact of Brexit.
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A Cambridge PhD student
Dr Graham Gudgin
Economist, Center for Business Research, Judge Business School University of Cambridge
Professor Robert Tombs
Emeritus Professor of French History, University of Cambridge