Sinking Brexit by Kenneth Surin

Boris Johnson and his Tory colleagues are playing a game that is doomed to fail where the twin threats of the Covid pandemic and Brexit are concerned.

As the UK careens towards a No Deal Brexit, the “message” is that the economic and social disaster caused by a No Deal Brexit is really to be attributed to the pandemic, while another “message” is that the country will be “back to normal” by Christmas with regard to the pandemic, leaving the decks miraculously clear for a mighty effort to stem the calamitous No Deal Brexit.

“It is my strong and sincere hope”, BoJo Johnson told a Downing Street press conference, that the virus will be under such strong control that the country could see “a significant return to normality” from November.

Both messages are a con, which must surely be apparent even to a self-deceiver like to BoJo. It certainly is to EU leaders.

The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte added this twist to the Brexiter’s mantra “Brexit means Brexit” by adding “and hard Brexit means hard Brexit”. As has been clear all along, the EU is not going to give an inch to perfidious Albion in its divorce from the EU.

It soon became obvious that BoJo’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Chris Whitty did not get BoJo’s message. Within hours both men were telling the House of Lords science committee that social distancing is here to stay.

Whitty said: “[The virus] has not gone away. [The measures] need to continue for a long period of time”. Vallance added that “social distancing and hygiene measures will be necessary” given it was “highly likely” the virus would return, stressing that it was just a matter of when, not if, Covid “comes back in force” in several waves.

The truth is that there will be no return to a “pre-Covid normality” without levels of contact tracing that have never been achieved in the UK, as well as effective Covid security on public transport, and so on.

The current testing system, outsourced to the private companies Serco and G4S, fails to contact nearly a quarter of people who test positive. In one town in the north of England now dealing with a major outbreak of the virus, the testing app, touted as “world-beating” by BoJo, is failing to reach half of its close contacts.

The UK economy was in poor shape even before Covid struck, but the economy is now on the verge of flat lining.

Excerpted from: 'The UK’s Sinking Brexit Ship'.

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