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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Great Britain: Boris Johnson is gone, his politics remain

Since the return of Boris Johnson, there is hope in Paris, Brussels and Berlin that one thing should be possible again: a more relaxed relationship with Great Britain. Certainly not as closely as the EU at the time, but certainly friendly and practical in the best sense of the word. However, it would be assumed that Johnson’s successor is no longer so strongly guided by Brexit ideology. But as it turned out, the opposite is to be expected.

The contest between Secretary of State Liz Truss and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is nothing less than a feast for thinkers and nostalgia. There will hardly be a day when both future prime ministers don’t praise the benefits of Britain’s exit from the European Union. The members of the party deciding Johnson’s successor are incredibly welcomed. Brexit is and will be the political cement that holds the Tories together. No other subject is so unanimous.

So it’s no surprise that polls show Truss has the best chance of becoming party leader and prime minister. Unlike Sunak, she was already one of those in Johnson’s cabinet who called for a tougher line on Brussels. And it still has no doubt that it is ready to take the Brexit dispute with the European Union to the extreme. When it comes to Northern Ireland, the truce wants to move through Johnson’s proposed legislation that would allow London to reverse the Brexit deal with the EU. While Sunak says he will do the same, Truss seems more credible on the issue.

The consequences of leaving the European Union will determine the term of the next prime minister’s term, as will the consequences of the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The biggest problem is cost of life crisis, Like everywhere in Europe, the cost of living in Great Britain has risen sharply. However, at 10.1 percent, the inflation rate is much higher than in Germany or France. For autumn, the Bank of England expects a further 13 percent growth.

tax down, tax down, tax down

Truss and Sunak have identified tax cuts as a recipe against an impending economic crisis. This is understandable as there are some more popular among Tories. The promise of a lean state that does everything to ensure that citizens and companies can develop freely has been a core of conservative economic policy since Margaret Thatcher.

Truss, who presents herself as a sort of reincarnation of the Iron Lady, is therefore promising an immediate tax cut. His calculation: If citizens have more money at their disposal, they will spend it and thus encourage development. The only problem is that the higher the demand for consumer goods, the higher will be the prices – which will further increase inflation. It’s what Sunak cautions about, believing tax cuts only make sense when the economy is growing again. A pragmatic approach, but one that clearly hasn’t been able to win a majority under the Tories.

Well, a lot can happen before Johnson’s successor is decided on September 5. But so far, Truss is the clear favorite. It is quite possible that she will be less guided by ideology in the office and instead act pragmatically. However, you shouldn’t get your hopes up too high.

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