With Brexit and COVID, the U.K. may be headed for a breakup

After realizing his lifelong dream of becoming prime minister a year and a half ago, British Boris Johnson invented an additional title for himself: the Minister of the Union. The new badge was intended to show his dedication to strengthening the ties between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that make up Britain.

Johnson also promised to “achieve Brexit” on his tooth skin by signing a last-minute trade deal with the European Union before Britain completely withdrew from the club on December 31st. did.

But what was supposed to help Brexit end the bitter domestic sector unleashed was only to help sharpen them. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against leaving the EU in 2016, but had no power to stop it. Many of their residents feel that they are refocusing on trade agreements, raising their resentment towards the Johnson administration, which is far from London.

Add that to widespread criticism of dealing with the pandemic — Scottish leaders are believed to have done a better job — and Johnson now has to face an unpleasant question: this of the union Is the self-proclaimed minister reading the Last rites instead?

In a 2016 campaign against Brexit in London, a man was waving both the British and European Union flags outside the Capitol.

(Justin Thalys / AFP / Getty Images)

If Michael Starr in Edinburgh is any sign, Johnson’s desire to continue welding the four regions of Britain (the Britons call them “four nations”) really matters. Yes, a divided kingdom is in danger of becoming a collapsed kingdom.

The 26-year-old Sturrock was among 55% of Scotland’s voters who chose to keep Scotland part of the UK in the 2014 Independence Referendum. But I never imagined that staying in Britain would lead to being dragged out of the EU against his will.

He is now in favor of Scotland’s own path. In unprecedented development, at least 18 consecutive polls in recent months have shown that multiple or majority of Scottish residents agree with him.

“Brexit was a fundamental turning point for me, and for so many people,” Sturrock said. “The big problem for me is to regain European citizenship. I’m really devastated. And I’m very angry.”

Young people like him lament that they can no longer pursue the dream of living and working freely anywhere in the EU in 27 countries, but he also laments that Johnson’s conservative policies are due to Scottish social democratic tendencies. I think it’s far away. Solution.

“I’m no longer convinced that staying in Britain is the will of Scottish democracy or the best way to achieve the kind of society we want,” he said. “Independence is the way we get it.”

Sturrock has set up a website, NoToYes, as a place where he and other voters, who changed their minds in the Scottish independence debate, can meet and share their stories. He is amazed at the amount of interest from voters throughout the political spectrum.

“We need to move forward as a move,” he said.

Starrock’s changing perspective is the music of Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who spent much of her political career in the fight for Scottish independence.

Brexit is a “gift from the gods” for the Scottish National Party, said Thomas Divine, one of Scotland’s leading historians. Not only can Sturgeon point out the fact that the majority of Scotland do not want to leave the EU in the first place, but the new reality of trade in the post-Brexit world has hit Scottish businesses hard in recent weeks.

The local seafood industry says trade with Europe (worth more than $ 1.3 billion for Scottish companies) is on the verge of collapse. This is because the new border crossing and lengthy customs clearance canceled the order and the supply did not arrive at the destination on time.

“What seems to have happened is a slow burn in terms of the result of Brexit,” Divine said. “There is a growing sense that each country is moving in different directions.”

Sturgeon is currently planning to vote symbolically for Scottish divorce from Britain if the party wins the local elections in May. The goal is to further pressure Johnson to allow another independent referendum, as the new referendum is not binding unless approved by the central government of London.

The transition to life outside the EU was less complex throughout the Irish Sea.

In Northern Ireland, where fragile peace between retired Republicans and British supporters has been going on for almost 20 years, Brexit will be challenged if a tough border arises between Northern Ireland and its immovable member, the Republic of Ireland. There was a risk of regaining tension between denominations. Of the EU. To avoid that, a new trade agreement will leave Northern Ireland with the EU’s single commodity market and, to some extent, its customs framework, even if Northern Ireland officially leaves the European Union along with the rest of the United Kingdom. Leave inside.

Half-in, half-out status offends those who see it as a wedge being moved between the people of Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain.

“It feels more like leaving the UK than leaving the EU,” said Harrywick, CEO of the Northern Ireland fish producers’ organization. “We feel that British politicians have spurred us a lot.”

Wick describes himself as a proud union member after serving in the Royal Navy for 20 years and living in the United Kingdom for many years. But now he feels “like a second-class citizen” and those seeking Irish unity point out Brexit’s agreement and warn “see what Britain has done for you.”

“It would be difficult to claim that they don’t make sense,” he said. “Brexit has only helped to emphasize our department.”

Customs officers will check the vehicle at the Northern Ireland ferry terminal as part of the new post-Brexit requirements.

Customs officers will check the vehicle at the Northern Ireland ferry terminal on New Year’s Day, the day after the UK completes its withdrawal from the European Union.

(Peter Morrison / Associated Press)

Whether Johnson can stop the upwelling of objections and disillusionments in Scotland and Northern Ireland remains an open question. His bluff, sometimes exaggerated, and often joke-like attitude, was tolerated and enjoyed in a comfortable time, but did not help him as he threatened to start unraveling at the seams.

Gordon Brown, one of his predecessors as prime minister, said the country is now facing a tough choice to become a “reformed state” or a “failed state.” The four regions of the UK need to “urgently rediscover what puts it together.” Otherwise, there is a risk that the union will collapse. Proud Scottish Brown writes in The Daily Telegraph this week.

The COVID-19 pandemic plunged Britain into a serious recession, causing Europe’s highest death toll of over 100,000 on Tuesday, but despite Johnson’s attempts, different parts of the country I clarified how far away. Promote solidarity by evoking the spirit of wartime.

Each of the four regions manages its own health policy, so lockdowns take place at different times around the UK, with some schools remaining open and others remaining open, Johnson. There is a patchwork of rules and restrictions that look more similar. A leader only in England, not the whole of England.

In Scotland, home to about 5.5 million of the UK’s 67 million, the sturgeon regime is said to have taken more decisive and transparent actions, although it has not actually succeeded in tame the coronavirus. I will. As of Monday, 5,709 Scottish people died of COVID-19. This is a higher per capita rate than in the United States.

“It’s a perception that sturgeons handled pandemics much better than Boris Johnson,” said historian Divine. “The reality may be a little different, but don’t worry about it. It’s a realization that she did a great job. They can’t stand Johnson here.”

Britain is not on the verge of collapse tomorrow and people are immediately paying attention to overcome the pandemic, but political analyst Corey Brown Swan is felt in Scotland and Northern Ireland. He said it was unlikely that the centrifugal force would diminish.

“We’re having a hard time clarifying the union’s claims in the UK’s post-EU world … there’s a sense of an endangered union,” said Brown Swan, a fellow at the Edinburgh Constitutional Amendment Center. Said.

“Everyone is focused on surviving the current crisis, but you want an independence referendum [in Scotland] This year or next year, “Brown Swan said. “Will Scotland be a turning point if we see independence in Scotland?”

Boyle is a correspondent.

With Brexit and COVID, the U.K. may be headed for a breakup Source link With Brexit and COVID, the U.K. may be headed for a breakup

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