December 3, 2023

Conservative Party Conference - Staying on Track in the Post-Brexit Storm

Conservative Party Conference – Staying on Track in the Post-Brexit Storm

It was as if the countries across the English Channel had disappeared behind a wall of smoke overnight. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s party has, quite literally, lost sight of poor old Europe this week at this week’s British Conservative Conference. In her address to delegates in Manchester, Johnson’s new Secretary of State, Liz Truss, eagerly enumerated all of the United Kingdom’s allies with whom Global Britain would like to be closely associated in the future. The United States, Australia, Mexico, and Japan were on that list, as you’d expect. And of course “the great democracy of India and our friends throughout the Commonwealth”. Even Israel, South Korea and the Gulf states were mentioned in Trus?? Alliance Division.

Only partners for many decades, direct neighbors, are not found anywhere. There has never been any mention of the European Union, Europe, or individual European countries like France, which is at least close. Europeans were treated with the terms “NATO” and “Group of Seven”. Truss could not call France, Germany, or Italy by name.

Adjustment problems only.

Even British observers, such as the liberal London Guardian newspaper, found it astounding how easily the head of the foreign office could “remove” “every trace” of Europe herself. To this day, many conservatives are still far enough away from the continent. Now that Brexit is over, Johnson’s government is finding it hard enough to issue an additional 5,000 short-term EU visas to truck drivers to defuse the UK’s current supply crisis.

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Critics of Brexit interpret this offer, which in their opinion should include ten times the number of visas on more attractive terms, as acceptance of a failed policy. The prime minister, who will deliver his big speech at the party conference on Wednesday, insists there is no way back to “uncontrolled immigration” after Brexit.

Johnson certainly admitted that there were “adjusting difficulties” on the way to the new society, with the best-trained and well-paid Britons at some point doing the relevant work in the country. However, it would not make sense to “pull that lever” that would again allow the “uncontrolled” flow of Europeans – and a return to the failed “old model” of low wages, low qualifications and low productivity.

The announcement at the party convention provoked a backlash from farmers, businesses and associations across the country. The argument was “nonsense,” and the substance was: Wages and productivity had long gone up, but the workforce did not exist. There was also mockery and derision over Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab’s proposal to hire released convicts, asylum seekers wishing to transport goods and truck drivers. It won’t be easy, because Home Secretary Priti Patel wants to ban asylum seekers from entering camps in Albania or to distant islands.

It was ironic that British supermarkets are now trying to make up for the expected shortage of turkeys on Christmas Days with imports from Poland and France, of all things. and that the authorities encouraged Germans living in Great Britain, among others, to make themselves available as truck drivers – because their driver’s license allowed this, at least for light trucks up to 7.5 tons.

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Northern Ireland Long Term

EU citizens should help. But this should not give them a different residence status. After all, Boris Johnson said, Britons “voted for change” in the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to the latest polls, a quarter of those who voted for Brexit at the time believed that Brexit had a “negative” effect on the EU. British economy.

This does not impress the prime minister, who led the Brexit campaign in 2016. Of course he has nothing against immigrants, Johnson has now asserted: “We are all descended in one way or another from immigrants. This has been the case for centuries. Really cool. Only control is necessary in this process.”

Unlike Secretary of State Liz Truss, Brexit Secretary Lord Frost has no problem naming Europe after her. At least for his country, Frost told the party conference that “the long nightmare of EU membership” is over. Now countries across the Channel and the Irish Sea must finally find themselves ready to renegotiate the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol to the Brexit treaty from scratch. Frost threatened his “dear friends.” If Brussels does not take this into account, the protocol will be suspended for the next few days: there are no smokescreens for the most outspoken Brexit hardliners in the Cabinet.