In the same week Boris Johnson unveils new, very unpopular social distancing rules barring gatherings of more than six people, he puts the screws to the Scottish Nationalists who still think their support comes from their being arch-Remainers and not the contrary nature of most Scots.
In the same week that Boris Johnson sets an October 15th drop dead date for Brexit talks with the EU, President Donald Trump’s election chances rose to even for the first time this summer.
Now given all of that, it’s clear that Boris Johnson as Prime Minister is a decidedly mixed bag. His response to the Coronapocalypse has been an unmitigated disaster, bowing to political winds he should have never exposed himself to.
In doing so he’s squandered the significant goodwill his Brexit maneuvers of 2019 garnered him and the Conservative party. So, it’s obvious by now that his lack of managerial/organizational skill is what is undermining his government.
At the same time, however, Johnson’s handling of Brexit has been nothing short of excellent, the valid criticisms of the Withdrawal Act by Nigel Farage notwithstanding.
Johnson inherited a poison pill from Theresa May and in his zeal to fulfill a political promise agreed to a treaty with the EU that would bring his hardball negotiating stance to the current crossroads because of his compromises on the issue of Northern Ireland.
With the latest twist in the Brexit saga it looks like he and his negotiating team are ready to drive the final stake through the heart of them and the European Union with the Internal Market bill.
The Withdrawal Act’s validity and applicability to the future relationship between the EU and the U.K. is predicated on two things.
Both sides negotiating a Free Trade Agreement in good faith.
A free trade agreement is actually signed by the two parties.
If either of these things do not come to pass Section 38 of the Withdrawal Act upgrades the power of the U.K. government since it asserts the sovereignty of the U.K. parliament as a law-making body for the whole of the United Kingdom.
This includes Northern Ireland.
Johnson’s seeming sell-out of Northern Ireland with his agreeing to the Withdrawal Act was always predicated on there being a free trade deal struck between the EU and the U.K.
The UK leaving the EU, and Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving the UK exemplify the global devolution and dissolution trend. From Mark Nestmann at nestmann.com:
“The empire on which the sun never sets.”
That phrase was first attributed to a priest named Fray Francisco de Ugalde, uttered to King Charles I of Spain during the 16th century. It referred to the then-global extent of the Spanish Empire, which extended from the Philippines to most of what is now Mexico, Latin America, and South America.
In the 1560s, it might be the dead of night in Madrid, Spain’s capital. But in Manila or Mexico City, it would be broad daylight.
However, by the 18th century, the Spanish Empire was in serious decline. A new global contender for empire, Great Britain, had burst on the scene. Australia, Canada, Malaya, New Zealand, Singapore, the colonies comprising the original 13 American states, along with large chunks of India and Africa, all were once part of the British Empire. By the end of World War I, more than 450 million people lived under some measure of British control, amounting to about one-fifth of the world’s population.
At its largest extent, the British Empire looked like this:
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