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January 2020
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Economist (January 11)

2020/ 01/ 13 by jd in Global News

“The industries that will suffer most from new regulatory barriers to frictionless trade are those like aerospace, cars, chemicals, food and drink, and pharmaceuticals that rely on uninterrupted supply chains across Europe. They are concentrated in the midlands and north—exactly where Mr Johnson won his new Tory majority. If his weakness in the negotiations causes him to lose favour in those areas, his new domestic strength will be at risk.”


Newsweek (December 13)

2019/ 12/ 13 by jd in Global News

In calling an election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson “hit the jackpot. The Conservative government, which promised to ‘get Brexit done’ and lavish cash on public services, was returned triumphantly with 365 seats, its largest Westminster majority since 1987.” The result “bears many of the signs of a once-in-a-lifetime phenomena—a critical realignment redefining the basis of British politics.”


The Economist (December 7)

2019/ 12/ 09 by jd in Global News

British voters are facing a “nightmare before Christmas.” They “keep being called to the polls—and each time the options before them are worse…. Next week voters face their starkest choice yet, between Boris Johnson, whose Tories promise a hard Brexit, and Jeremy Corbyn, whose Labour Party plans to “rewrite the rules of the economy” along radical socialist lines.” Both leaders are unpopular and on Friday, December 13th, “unlucky Britons will wake to find one of these horrors in charge.”


Financial Times (November 24)

2019/ 11/ 25 by jd in Global News

Britain might do better if it tried a page from the Athenians. “If, instead of a general election, Britain held an ostracism vote, there would be plenty of ballots bearing not only the prime minister’s name but those of other party leaders. We would be selecting the most unpopular individual rather than the most popular party—arguably a more precise method of improving the democratic landscape, given the potential for deterring bad leadership. Mr Johnson, take note.”


Time (November 15)

2019/ 11/ 16 by jd in Global News

“This has been one of the darkest weeks in the Hong Kong protest movement…. With the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Brexit paralysis continuing in Britain, and turmoil in the Middle East, the attritional protests in Hong Kong could easily end up neglected and forgotten. But now more than ever, Hongkongers need our solidarity.”


The Guardian (November 3)

2019/ 11/ 05 by jd in Global News

To top off Brexit uncertainties, there’s also the chance that a 25-year old could unseat Boris Johnson in the upcoming election. Labour’s Ali Milani “may not have Johnson’s recognition factor,” but “he is well known” and well-equipped to mobilise the crucial student vote. Johnson only won by 5,034 votes in 2017, “the smallest of any prime minister since 1924.” That means “Milani requires a swing of just over 5%” to win and displace the current Prime Minister.


Washington Post (October 21)

2019/ 10/ 23 by jd in Global News

“Brexit has consistently proved to be unpredictable. After more than three years, there does appear to be one certainty, however: Whatever happens, Brexit won’t just be ‘done,’ as Johnson is suggesting.” The potential departure of Northern Ireland or Scotland from the UK and other “concerns that have been on Britons’ minds in recent years” will “remain a risk.”


Washington Post (October 16)

2019/ 10/ 16 by jd in Global News

A no-deal Brexit has “been compared to “downshifting a car at full speed from fifth gear to first.” The U.K. could lose “continuity of trade relations with many of the 71 nations that have forged preferential trade agreements with the EU.” To date, the U.K. has secured continuity agreements with only about a dozen of these countries and it remains to be seen whether sufficient customs infrastructure will be in place. “Large U.K. businesses like engine-maker Rolls Royce Holdings Plc and brewer Heineken NV have outlined plans to hoard supplies in case a tumultuous Brexit chokes just-in-time supply chains and creates backlogs at ports.”


The Guardian (September 24)

2019/ 09/ 26 by jd in Global News

“The supreme court has delivered a comprehensive demolition of Boris Johnson’s government and its handling of Brexit. The unanimous judgment of the 11 justices…amounts to a root and branch rejection of the prime minister’s attempts to rule without parliament, to take Britain out of the European Union by 31 October without a deal, and to contrive a premature general election…. The immediate effect of the judgment is devastating for Johnson. It is expressed so cogently and unambiguously that it will be difficult for him to wriggle out of it – even though he is certainly foolish enough to try.”


Irish Times (September 23)

2019/ 09/ 24 by jd in Global News

“Brexit may be a price worth paying for the cohesion of British society. The economic arguments of the past three years have done nothing to sway people whose vote was about culture, identity and fairness.” The only way to overturn the first referendum is a second referendum, “but if the narrow lead were reversed, we would simply have prolonged the uncertainty to arrive somewhere equally unstable.”


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