Brexit Boris Johnson cannot survive a simultaneous cock-up on coronavirus...

Boris Johnson cannot survive a simultaneous cock-up on coronavirus and Brexit – Bukipress

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HARD to imagine maybe, but one day we might look back on Covid as a historic blip – like the Great Fire of London. Which, financially, it is.

If the economy bounces back without mass unemployment, it is even possible voters will give Boris a second term.

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Boris Johnson cannot survive a simultaneous cock-up on Covid and Brexit

After all, this was a global pandemic, not just a British disaster for which he alone is responsible.

What Boris cannot survive is a simultaneous cock-up on Brexit, a project in his own characteristically boisterous image. This week the PM himself must decide — Deal or No Deal.

Michel Barnier’s menacing clock is about to stop ticking. Insiders last night offered 80 per cent odds on a treaty agreement. Yet the same allies insist Boris will walk rather than sign a dodgy fudge.

“This week is the absolute crunch point,” says a senior Cabinet minister.

Stakes are huge. Boris is under pressure from Brexit minister Michael Gove and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to sign a peace treaty.

Leaving without one is unthinkable, they say. At the same time Tory MPs who form the PM’s 80-seat majority are ready to mutiny at the first whiff of a sell-out.

The Brexit poster boy’s place in history will depend on his decisions over the next few days.

PA:Press Association

Anything smelling of betrayal will cripple what remains of Boris’s time in Downing Street[/caption]

Boris cannot afford another Withdrawal Agreement fiasco, a treaty sabotaged by an EU ­border down the Irish Sea.

Yet all sides — the 27 EU member states as much as the UK — know they would be hit by No Deal.

So-called realists say voters are sick to death with Brexit and want five years of bitter wrangling and family bust-ups to end.

AGE OF PROSPERITY

“Will people really care if the final deal isn’t perfect?” asks one. Not immediately, maybe.

But you can put lipstick on a pig — and it’s still a pig.

Anything smelling of betrayal will cripple what remains of Boris’s time in Downing Street.

Gloomsters warn the ­economy will take a hit from No Deal. Others forecast a new age of prosperity once Britain is free from a crumbling EU.

“There are risks but also huge opportunities,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said yesterday.

“We will make a success of Brexit come what may.”

In some ways, No Deal could be the optimum solution for a Prime Minister needing to prove his commitment to a Full English Brexit.

Indeed, some believe he is braced for it.

We might see chaos at Dover, no-fly zones over France and panic about the Irish peace process, but Boris would emerge as a true believer.

A 2,000-page treaty, on the other hand, will have to be absolutely watertight, capable of withstanding a line-by-line search for EU booby traps by Nigel Farage and Tory sceptics.

POTENT ASSET

Anything less than total ­control of our coastal waters and the sovereignty of our democratically elected MPs at Westminster will be cast as betrayal.

Even a Canada-style arrangement may no longer be ­acceptable to hardliners. In this last-ditch shoot-out, Brussels must be the ones to blink.

“Nothing fundamental has been given away and there is no intention of giving anything fundamental away,” says a senior source.

Boris is notoriously hard to pin down on big decisions.

“He doesn’t like giving the impression that he doesn’t agree with you,” says one of his closest allies.

“But that doesn’t mean he agrees with you.”

Those at the heart of ­negotiations — David Frost and sidekick Oliver Lewis — believe the PM will walk unless he wins cast-iron commitments on fishing and sovereignty.

“There can be no ‘backdoor legitimacy’ for the European Court of Justice,” says a ­Government source.

“Those who are nervous are those who have not been fully briefed.”

Brexiteers have one ­undeclared but potent asset.

EPA

Michel Barnier’s menacing clock is about to stop ticking[/caption]

Reuters

Boris is notoriously hard to pin down on big decisions[/caption]


Boris’s partner Carrie Symonds is the last person he talks to at night and the first in the morning.

The former Tory communications director is a “completely solid” Brexit supporter, says a fan.

It could be worse.

Race 'obsession'

TUBE bosses are being urged to scrap station names ­including Canning Town and Maryland, which may have links with ­slavery.

Dead white poet Ted Hughes is tainted by an obscure 16th Century ancestor involved in the slave trade.

And race activists are trying to ban words such as “blackmail”, “black market” and “black sheep”.

Meanwhile Cambridge University is in dispute with its dons over demands they “respect” everyone else’s views, even if they don’t agree with them.

Does “respect” extend to those who believe an ­obsession with race might be counter-productive?


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