After securing the end of the Brexit transition period, Boris Johnson has insisted he will remain on as prime minister.
The U.K. told Johnson. A decent deal with the EU has been negotiated and there are several reasons to be hopeful about a “otherwise gloomy new year” in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
Johnson stands by Indyref2, suggesting that a fresh vote after 2050 will make the “right kind of gap”
Asked if he will stay in Downing Street after the UK left the EU at last, the prime minister said “Yes.” to BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.
Mr. Johnson continued, “I think if I can say so, Andrew, you should break out of your characteristic gloom.”
Things are very difficult, as a nation we are going through a very difficult time, but I really think people can reflect on the incredible fact that this country has created a room temperature vaccine that can be used all over the world.
(Jeff Overs/BBC) Boris Johnson on the Andrew Marr Show
“And we have freedoms now that we haven’t had in 50 years, and there are a lot of reasons to be very positive about this otherwise gloomy new year.”
The remarks follow some media speculation that before the next general election, scheduled for 2024, Mr. Johnson was considering resigning.
“significant sums of money” are coming back to the UK, the prime minister said. Because of Brexit.
He said, “We have control over our borders, an immigration system based on points has already been put in place.”
“And then when it comes to areas in parts of the country that feel they’ve been left behind, one of the things you can do, for example, not to mention the regulatory changes you can make, one of the things you can do is have free ports.”
The remarks came as former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair said Britain’s decisions have always rested with the British people as he compared “shock therapy.” to Brexit.
He said, “There is nothing for Britain that Brexit alone will do.” Economically, it will leave us poorer and with less political power.
The only way I can understand Brexit is to look at it as shock therapy. We have to accept then that we have to make some major decisions as a country, we have to set a new future direction, but that’s going to be difficult to do.
The reality is that these so-called European regulatory freedoms that Brexit is supposed to give us do not actually give us a great deal.
Because the fact is that the options for Britain are, and have always been, with the British people that they nominate, and with the British government.
“But what it means is if we just carry on the same old political debate post-Brexit as we had pre-Brexit, we’re in big trouble as a country.”
Ex Tony Blair, Labour Prime Minister (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
In the meantime, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was prepared to offer “even tougher powers to keep this country safe” to police and security agencies after Britain leaves the EU.
Ms. Patel spoke of the post-Brexit trade and security arrangement worked out as the clock ticked down to the departure of the bloc, insisting that the U.K. is now in a stronger place to safeguard its borders.
The EU has, however, made it clear that the U.K. will not enjoy the same degree of “facilitation” under the deal on police and security issues as it did before.
The EU briefing letter claimed that the UK will no longer have “direct real-time access” to sensitive databases in the fields of freedom, security and justice.
The opposition needed to question the Scottish independence of the SNP, Tony Blair said.
However, the agreement provides for ‘efficient cooperation’ between the United Kingdom and the police and law enforcement agencies Europol and Eurojust, in accordance with the principles of EU law for third countries.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Patel said the agreement provides the resources and collaborations to “our police and security services the tools and partnerships to keep the public safe.”
“And leaving the EU means we can give these agencies stronger powers to keep this country safe,” he said.
“This involves prohibiting international prisoners from entering the U.K. that have spent more than a year in jail.