Archive for the ‘Boris Johnson’ Category

No 10 accused of putting ‘Brexit over breathing’ in Covid-19 ventilator row

Government clarifies position after critics accuse Boris Johnson of putting ‘Brexit over breathing’

Downing Street has claimed it failed to take part in an EU scheme to source life-saving ventilators to treat coronavirus because it accidentally missed the deadline.

No 10 initially said it did not take part because the UK was “no longer a member” and was “making our own efforts”.

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Think you know how coronavirus will change Britain? Think again | Martin Kettle

Beware confident predictions of our future after the Covid-19 crisis. Our response to seismic change is often to entrench existing views

If there is one thing everyone living through the Covid-19 emergency agrees, it is that it is unprecedented. Everyone is surely right about that. But what follows in politics, economics and social behaviour from that recognition? There is no agreement there. There are resemblances with wartime, of course, but Britain never went into almost total lockdown in wartime. There are echoes of past pestilences too, but these afflictions did not bring normal life to such a totalising standstill.

And these are only early days in a long process. Politicians are no better than anyone else at adjusting to radical change. As Boris Johnson’s uncertain initial messaging exemplified, adjustment takes time. The worst of the crisis is also yet to come. Covid-19 cases and deaths have not yet peaked. The outbreak may drag on for longer than we have yet grasped, or it may return. Pretending that life could be back to normal by Easter, as Donald Trump does, is delinquent. If the 1918-19 flu pandemic is a guide, the Covid-19 virus may be with us for a year.

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The Guardian view on Covid-19 and Brexit: extend the transition | Editorial

The deadline for a deal looked fanciful before the present crisis. Now it looks impossible and must be moved

If, at this critical moment, the government was to announce plans to put a new burden on business, disrupt supply chains and impede the flow of goods, the reckless folly of it would be obvious. But Boris Johnson does not need to make such an announcement, because the measures come into force automatically at the end of the year.

Unless an extension to the Brexit transition period is sought by June, a newly obstructive border will appear between UK ports and the EU single market next January. Customs checks will separate Northern Ireland from mainland Britain. The effect will be delays, costs and a decline in trade volumes.

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