Plus: Johnson’s sub-optimal Brexit trade deal choice. I’m not dreaming of a normal Christmas. And: green jobs – overall, a cost not a benefit.
Closing the transition period at the end of the year will cause even greater problems than necessary.
It is a bad sign both for the Government and devolution that the Greater Manchester Mayor has been able to run rings round Ministers.
If it it takes hold, people will not want to go to pubs, cinemas, shops or offices, so economic normality will be impossible anyway.
If he is to take the necessary steps to get a Brexit deal (and I hope he does), he is going to have to defy those instincts on a second issue, too.
As her Lord Chancellor, I would have resigned if she had brought forward such proposals (which she wouldn’t have done anyway).
Plus: On Last Night of the Proms, I get in touch with my inner Farage. And: On Brexit, it’s crunch time as the end of transition approaches.
Even putting aside the EU dimension, there are very good arguments for having one in place.
Maybe, just maybe, such a leader could take the Conservative Party in a different direction.
When it decided to be the Party of Brexit, when it decided that it should focus on Red Wall voters, the Conservative Party made its choice.
Post-Covid, the environment is likely to be egalitarian and interventionist. For libertarian, small state Eurosceptics, this must come as a disappointment.
A Government that shows humility and honesty will retain the benefit of the doubt, but that runs counter to a ‘never apologise, never explain’ ethos.
Recognise that different conditions apply in different places. Advance where we can. Build up evidence when we need to. Less haste, more speed.
Some areas, people and businesses must be allowed to get back to normal quicker than others – however unjust that may seem.
I am beginning to worry that there may come a time when there will be a need for a more nuanced message – but the public won’t be willing to hear it.