As the Conservative Party contest to select a new party leader, who will also become Britain’s next prime minister, drags itself through these hot, dog days of August, Brexit barely gets a mention.
Except for the repeated assertion from both contenders, Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, and Rishi Sunak, a former chancellor, that a bill currently before parliament will magically solve all issues associated with the Northern Ireland Protocol. Everyone who is not a member of the Tory Party knows it will result in a trade war with the EU and ice-cold relations with the US. (See here for an explanation of the Northern Ireland issue by Anand Menon from The UK in a Changing Europe think-tank).
It is the last thing the UK needs as it faces into a winter of unprecedented energy price hikes, a cost-of-living crisis, and pressure on health and social services. Inflation is now predicted to hit 18% next January. Continue reading