Brexit: Liz Truss can ‘finish Brexit’ says Marc Roche
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In spite of the Prime Minister openly praising himself for “getting Brexit done,” German outlet “Online Focus” used the publication to list a series of events that they feel Mr Johnson has failed at, and with it, the reputation of Brexit Britain. Yet, in spite of the slamming report, Mr Johnson has overseen the signing of trade agreements with over 70 coutries, worth over £750bn, abolished endless red tape, and led the stage in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations.
However, the German view on the situation differs greatly from the picture painting by the PM during his New Year’s speech.
Simon Usherwood, a political scientist from the Open University speaking to the outlet said: “His avoidance of the many difficulties, sticking points and costs suggests that Great Britain is still a long way from a balanced and well-considered debate about the structure of relations with the EU.”
The expert went on to suggest that Mr Johnson’s Brexit is far from “done”.
Speaking of bureaucracy, the article suggested that it is true, in some “very niche” areas, there is less bureaucracy since Britain left the EU, however, it argues: “In fact, bureaucracy has increased, and for a year now trading has become more difficult because of the necessary documentation.”
The piece adds: “Since the beginning of the year, Great Britain has also been controlling some imports from the EU more strictly. The trade of smaller companies with the EU is permanently damaged” according to the frozen food association BFFF.
Speaking of consumerism, the piece states that the British public are the biggest losers when it comes to Brexit.
It states: “The majority of fresh food comes from the EU, shelves remain empty. Since Brexit, it has been more difficult for skilled workers to enter the country because of expensive work visas.”
It adds: “This affects many industries in which mainly EU citizens worked so far – from transport to meat processing to gastronomy.”
Mr Johnson was not the only target when it came to the German point of view.
Home Secretary Priti Patel was also given a harsh appraisal.
It stated that Ms Patel was seeking to pick and choose who came into Britain, aiming for “quality over quantity,” yet it points out that the Home Secretary has failed miserably over the handling of illegal Channel crossings, which broke all records in 2021.
With the global economy having been brought to its knees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no doubt that Britain shares in this impact as with the rest of the world.
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However, the German report says the impact of Brexit is having double the effect of the virus on the British economy.
It states: “The regulatory authority Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has come to the conclusion that leaving the EU will reduce gross domestic product (GDP) by 4 percent, which is twice as much as the pandemic.”
The article took an opportunity to take a swipe at the situation in Northern Ireland.
Speaking of the Northern Ireland Protocol, it says: “This is a thorn in the side of London, which is why Johnson wants to renegotiate the agreement he himself signed. For Johnson, it does not fit into the picture that the current regulation has brought a boom to the Northern Irish economy.”
It added: “Because companies can easily trade with the UK and the EU, they have an advantage over their UK competitors.”
Adding his take on the Northern Ireland situation, the piece said “If crowns on pint glasses are more important than the status of Northern Ireland, it is hard to imagine that this government will turn away from its long-cherished neuroses about Brexit”.
The article ends by casting doubt over the popularity of Brexit five years on.
It concluded by saying: “Public opinion has changed in surveys. A large proportion of Leave voters meanwhile also believe that Brexit was not a good idea.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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