Brexit Box

The Conservative Party are on course for an 80 seat majority, according to the latest polling figures by Opinium. According to the poll, the Conservatives have a 19 point lead over Labour, with both the Lib Dems and Brexit Party MPs struggling in third and fourth place respectively. Having pledged to “get Brexit done” during the unveiling of the Party’s manifesto on Sunday, Johnson made it clear his desire to commit the UK carbon neutrality by 2050 as well as, “Corbyn neutral by Christmas”. According to the manifesto, the Party pledge to, “negotiate a trade agreement next year – one that will strengthen our Union – and we will not extend the implementation period beyond December 2020.” 

Skeptics need convincing. Mujtaba Rahman, managing director of the Eurasia consultancy tweeted: “why is it so difficult for UK politics to level with the public? There’s no senior official in Bxl or EU capitals, who believe that phase 2 will be easy, no evidence to support the claim that a deal could be done by end – 2020. Incredible that history is repeating itself”. To add further insult to injury, Brexit guru Anand Menon has warned that French President Emmanuel Macron, pressured by his country’s businesses, could shut down Boris Johnson’s trade deal hopes. On Monday, Chancellor Sajjid Javid refused to say whether he would set money aside in order to prepare for a no deal Brexit.

Meanwhile, Labour’s stance came under further scrutiny this weekend, with Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson describing Corbyn as a “bystander”, not a “leader”. 

Her comments come after Mr Corbyn told a Question Time audience on Friday that he would remain “neutral” over the issue of EU membership if a second vote were to take place. Mr Corbyn defended his position, stating that his neutral stance is a “sign of strength” and “maturity”. In spite of the Labour leader choosing to take the middle ground, his shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has suggested he would back remain, having determined that he had,  “yet to see a Brexit deal that could beat remain”. Shadow education minister Angela Rayner also refused to commit the party to backing any future deal that Mr Corbyn plans to negotiate with the EU: “Well, that’s a hypothetical,” she told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday.

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Sam Gordon Webb

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December 2021
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