- The new strain of Coronavirus has reportedly been found in Denmark and Italy as well as the UK. We are unaware as we write of any plan by other EU states to close the border to either.
- We are not claiming that EU countries, including France, are only doing so in order to put pressure on the Government in the Brexit negotiation. But the thought will have crossed Emmanuel Macron’s mind.
- It is very hard to see Macron, having imposed a 48 hour closure of the border to people, lifting it when those two days have elapsed. The EU is apparently to co-ordinate its approach to the UK.
- We are thus facing a Perfect Christmas Storm of part-closed borders, an unresolved Brexit negotiation, and a new strain of Covid that spreads more rapidly than the old one.
- Boris Johnson has had his fill of broadcasts to the nation recently, but he will surely have to make another very soon to set out the Government’s response.
- It will have to cover: Christmas Covid rules; the new variant; work; travel; schools; hospitalisations; vaccine arrangements; public order (discreetly) – and triggering parts of the Government’s No Deal plans.
- Parliament should be recalled and MPs should vote on whatever the Government puts before it in relation to tiers and lockdowns. (In current circumstances, its plans will presumably pass.)
- If a Brexit Deal is reached before December 31, the Government and the EU would surely then be able to agree a transition standstill – lasting here until the full consideration of a Bill in early January.
- Were the Prime Minister to consult Keir Starmer on a regular basis he would either be a) legitimising him or b) drawing him into the Government’s plans, according to your point of view.
Universal Credit, overseas aid, empowering judges, tax rises. There’s more to yesterday’s rebellion than six backbenchers.
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