Brexit after Boris – The Bharat Express News

Boris Johnson BEN STANSALL/TBEN via Getty Images

Boris Johnson became Prime Minister with the promise that Brexit would bring prosperity and pride. Did it? Here's everything you need to know:

How did Brexit come about?

The United Kingdom narrowly voted to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum after a bitter campaign filled with misinformation and racism.

The main cheerleader for the Leave camp was Boris Johnson, who loudly, repeatedly and falsely claimed that Britain sent GBP350 million to the EU every week. Brexit, he said, would give Britons their money back - as well as let them set their own immigration policies so they wouldn't have to accept as many asylum seekers or EU migrants. After negotiations with the EU over the terms of the exit dragged on for years, Johnson won the premiership in 2019 promising to "get Brexit done".

Now he leaves 10 Downing Street in a cloud of lies and scandal, and with Brexit over, few are happy with the result. Britain's GDP per capita has grown by just 3.8 percent since the referendum, while that of the EU has grown by 8.5 percent. Companies are struggling to recruit skilled workers and trade with Europe has collapsed. "If you can't send your goods to the biggest market right outside your door," says Gyr King, chief executive of King & McGaw, a printing company, "you're shooting yourself in the foot."

What would Brexit bring?

In explaining his advocacy for Brexit in The Telegraph Prior to the referendum, Johnson focused mainly on sovereignty issues, saying that up to 60 percent of new British legislation was written in Brussels and that Britons should take back their land.

He was long concerned with rousing rhetoric and little with economic details. Other prominent Brexit supporters, such as then Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, suggested the prospect of the UK as Singapore-on-Thames, a low-tax, low-regulation haven that would thrive by attracting international companies. The UK, such supporters said, would make its own, more beneficial trade deals with the US and other countries.

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How much of that has happened?

Few. Yes, the British are no longer bound by EU law. But the Brexit deal that Johnson reluctantly backed closely linked UK regulatory policy with Europe's (because otherwise the EU wouldn't buy British goods) and created costly bureaucracy.

In one of the UK's four constituent countries, Northern Ireland, EU law is still largely in place, as the EU refused to endanger Ireland's peace by establishing a hard border across the island of Ireland. Instead, there is a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain, a divide that infuriates many Northern Irish people. And as Johnson continues to try to rewrite that provision of the Brexit deal, the US - which had spearheaded the writing of the Irish peace accords - has refused to sign a major trade deal with the UK.

How is the UK economy?

It is not in good condition.

Immediately after the referendum, the pound fell by 10 percent and has not recovered. This pushed up import prices and caused what the Center for Economic Policy Research called "a rapid negative shock to UK living standards". Things deteriorated further when the UK actually exited the European single market in December 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

The flow of goods faltered due to the loss of European truck drivers, and production took a hit as companies were locked out of the EU's supply chains. Just ten years ago, the average Briton was about as wealthy as the average German; now that the Briton is 15 percent poorer than the German. Brexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg was recently ridiculed when, when asked to list the economic benefits of Brexit, he resorted to avoiding a 2 percent increase in the price of fish sticks.

Were there any other pluses?

Britain has indeed taken back control of its immigration policy and is no longer paying dues to the EU.

Some argue that immigration is now fairer, as EU members are no longer automatically preferred - although immigration rates have remained stable, rather than declining as promised. The UK has also adopted a stricter policy than the EU on animal welfare, a subject close to the UK's heart, and has banned the export of live farm animals. More broadly, Brexit has had a significant psychological effect, restoring a sense of proud independence to a nation that never quite got over the loss of its empire.

Yet that renewal of English patriotism has a dark side: The Brexit campaign demonized immigrants and hate crimes have more than doubled since 2015. In a recent poll, just 17 percent of Britons said Brexit had improved their lives.

How will Johnson's departure affect Brexit?

The Conservative Party's race to replace Johnson as prime minister, pitting Foreign Secretary Liz Truss against former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, has taken shape as an ideological battle over Britain's future after the EU. It has become Tory orthodoxy not to regret Brexit, and Truss, the favourite, got some flak for voting for Remain.

But she now supports the Singapore-on-Thames option and says she will scrap the regulations. Sunak, on the other hand, would spend on social services and raise taxes on businesses. Meanwhile, the opposition Labor party under Keir Starmer has adopted the new slogan "Make Brexit Work", promising that if she came to power she would make the most of what she calls a "bad deal".

However, other key Labor figures, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, want the UK to rejoin the European single market. Brexit, Khan said, is "the greatest piece of self-inflicted damage ever done to a country".

A divided kingdom

Brexit has weakened ties between the UK's four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The new customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK is a symbolic break between Belfast and London, and there is now talk among Northern Irish nationalists about holding a long-running referendum on leaving the UK to join Ireland. unite.

Scotland is even more likely to hold an independence vote. Most Scots, 62 percent, voted to remain in the EU, and many want to rejoin. While Scottish voters rejected independence in 2014, more than half said in a poll last year they wanted another referendum.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon is currently fighting in court to give them one. "Scottish democracy," she said, "will not be a prisoner." This article was first published in the latest issue of The week magazine. If you want to read more, try six risk-free issues of the magazine here

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