From Great Britain to England


From Great Britain to England

Sunday, December 15, 2019

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Mr Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party, shorn of dissenters, won a sizeable majority in last Thursday's general election in Britain — an amazing result given the recent unprecedented political defeats in the British Parliament.

The biggest Tory majority since 1987 happened for what, we are sure, are important reasons.

First of all, the best asset of the Conservatives was Labour Party Leader Mr Jeremy Corbyn, an unreformed old-style socialist who was never able to unify his party, neither ideologically nor over Brexit.

A section of the party seemingly feared the possibility of the Jamaican-born Member of Parliament Ms Dianne Abbott, who is seen as a leftist, becoming the second most powerful person in Government. Mr Corbyn has said that he will step down when the Labour Party elects a new leader. No surprise if that person is young, moderate and has personality.

Second, the British electorate suffering acute Brexit fatigue just wanted to have a decision one way or another and Mr Johnson represented one clear option, while the Labour Party never made up its mind.

What could be overlooked are the economic implications of leaving the European Union (EU) to become a “small island developed state”, especially with the very real prospect that Scotland will opt to remain in the EU.

Third, there is a worldwide resurgence of extreme nationalism, whose disciples long to relive the “glorious past” and have imbibed the delusion of a glorious future based on little or no migration to their shores.

This vocal minority has a strong desire to be rid of migrants, who are blamed for taking jobs and destroying the purity of the society with alien cultures and religions. If they have their way it would deprive Britain of the enrichment of being a cosmopolitan international country which has traditionally attracted capital and talent from all over the world.

Fourth, a significant section of the British public believes that Brexit will be easy and quick, bringing the desired bonanza, while ignoring dire predictions about haemorrhaging of jobs and investment which could be made worse by how the Irish border question is handled.

Fifth, many hope that the election result and the exit from the EU will unite the country. However, it is necessary to bear in mind the difference between Scotland, Ireland, and England. It is most of the English who voted to leave, and this could result in the dismemberment of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

Whatever the true reasons for the election results, we are sure that the British people are seized of the reality that Brexit will be costly in time and money and will take place over an extended period of many years. International trade and investment agreements, which have to be negotiated, will take a long time to complete and could create uncertainty.

That could mean that instead of freeing the Government to work on and finance numerous problems, such as the troubled National Health Service, it risks postponing already much-delayed policy programmes.

That said, the British people have always had fortitude and determination in difficult times. We wish them well as they enter uncharted waters.

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