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Home / World / Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit plan remains confusing

Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit plan remains confusing



Now that the country is not bound by most EU regulations, he has a once-in-a-lifetime political opportunity to reshape the UK and determine the future direction of the EU. The biggest unknown is how he will use this opportunity.

Brexit is a method proposed by its long-time advocates to create a low tax rate and free-spirited “Singapore on the Thames” by releasing the Brussels red tape to release the new vitality of the United Kingdom. This was proposed by the former head of the British Ministry of Finance. One sentence. Philip Hammond-Selling goods and services worldwide.

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But Mr. Johnson is not Mrs. Thatcher’s free market conservative. So far, he has pledged to provide more, not less, supervision to the British, and has formulated ambitious plans to raise the minimum wage and curb greenhouse gas emissions. He promised to increase rather than reduce government spending in order to “upgrade” the economy he said was too dependent on London and southern England.

This policy enabled him to win the region’s traditionally hostile ruling Conservative Party in last year’s election, and his pursuit of Brexit alienated many of his party’s traditional allies on the company’s board of directors. All these tensions present a dilemma: If Mr. Johnson does not want another Thatcher-style economic revolution, what impact does he want to have on Britain’s freedom from Brussels?

His first task is to deal with a possibly difficult year. Britain’s largest export market has been disrupted by the new trade arrangements, which may hinder the economic recovery of the pandemic.

Given that the virus has created loopholes in the UK’s public finances, the promise of the 2019 elections to revive backward regions looks even more difficult.

The pandemic itself is not over: the country is about to usher in a new year, and its new variant of the coronavirus will cope with growing infections, which will inevitably cause deaths in the future. Even if the vaccination plan is on the right track, it will take several months for Covid-19 to be fully controlled to lift economic restrictions, and his party’s active departments may continue to resist it. At the same time, Scottish nationalists are eager to fight for independence again.

However, political observers said that although Brexit has been completed, Mr Johnson’s long-term vision for the UK is still unclear. Simon Usherwood, a professor of political science at the University of Surrey, said: “He has the opportunity to clarify some kind of grand plan, but I don’t think he has one, and I don’t think he needs one.”

The agreement between the UK and the EU was advanced a few days before the end of the year deadline on Thursday, giving the UK great freedom to leave EU regulations and sign free trade agreements with other countries.Photo: Paul Grover/Pool

The European Union is worried that Mr. Johnson will seek to establish a low-tax, low-regulated economy, which has led the European Union to take a hard line in Brexit negotiations. What is worrying is that the UK will become a low-cost competitor in front of the European Union because of its lower standards and therefore the ability to beat European companies. The EU’s answer is to establish a trade agreement. If the UK does lower its standards (for example, by amending the law to allow factories to pollute more), it will lose tariff-free access to the EU.

Mr. Johnson did seek to maximize Britain’s freedom from EU control during negotiations. However, in important policy areas, his plans reflect or expand EU plans, rather than weaken them.

His victory in the 2019 general election was in the manifesto, which included a pledge to raise the minimum wage and combat corporate tax avoidance. In its policy announcement on the environment and climate change, the UK has set ambitious goals that exceed the EU’s commitments. At the same time, the Bank of England stated that it will not relax its capital requirements and other regulations.

Johnson was a major public figure in the Brexit movement. He praised Britain’s departure from the European Union as a restoration of sovereignty. In his speech, he bragged about traditional conservative priorities such as low tax rates and deregulation, stricter security policies and stricter immigration rules.

But he also expressed his support for traditional left-centered goals, such as massive investment in infrastructure and state support for industry, including greater protections for foreign acquisitions, which signifies the free market tradition championed by the ruling Conservative Party. Since Mrs. Er became prime minister. He supports strict environmental regulations and prohibits the export of live animals for slaughter.

It is not yet clear what kind of political thought will dominate his remaining tenure.

Johnson said at this year’s Conservative Party meeting: “Our plan to rebuild this country will not fail,” and he promised to increase investment in health care, security and education. But he warned in the same speech that the country can never act as “Uncle Sugar.”

The inconsistent political information means that his views on how the UK will leave the EU after Brexit are vague. Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s top adviser and one of the planners behind the Brexit referendum, left in November, adding to this uncertainty.

Among the entourage of Mr. Johnson, Mr. Cummings presented the most detailed vision after Brexit. He has written extensively about how the UK will manage issues such as climate change, migration, urbanization and the use of large-scale technology more flexibly without being bound by EU regulations.

The vision foresees a new state that may quickly intervene to adjust regulation to promote investment and innovation. He believes that the UK will become a leading hub for scientific research and cutting-edge industries (such as artificial intelligence and green technology), thereby maintaining economic competitiveness.

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Against the Covid-19 vaccine, the United Kingdom has signaled the kind of regulatory agility envisioned by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Cummings.

In addition to Brexit, Mr. Johnson’s signature election pledge is to revitalize Britain’s backward former industrial areas through taxpayer-funded large investments in schools, hospitals and infrastructure. Rishi Sunak, the head of Johnson’s Ministry of Finance, champions the “Freeport”, a low-tax manufacturing zone. Skeptics say this encourages tax avoidance, which is where multinational companies set up factories and create new jobs.

Internationally, the vision of the UK after Brexit has been better defined. Mr. Johnson talked about Britain becoming a global defender of free trade, human rights and climate change. He emphasized London’s desire to become a global fixator and played an important role in forums such as the Group of Seven and the United Nations. It has increased military spending. For example, officials say it will use its financial influence to formulate sanctions to punish human rights violations.

The main goal of Brexit is to enable the UK to conduct trade transactions independently of the EU. Officials argued that Britain outside the EU could negotiate deals with countries that are more suitable for Britain’s service-focused economy.

So far, new deals between the UK and countries such as Japan and Mexico have largely replicated deals already made with the European Union.The main target is the United States

When Mr. Johnson’s office was dismissed, the Prime Minister was the first European leader to receive a call from President-elect Biden after he spent several years courting Donald Trump. But the president-elect has stated that he is not in any rush to provide any trade agreement because of the domestic focus.

Write to Jason Douglas (Jason Douglas) email jason.douglas@wsj.com and Max Colchester (Max Colchester) email max.colchester@wsj.com

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