Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I will defer to your greater knowledge of internal Tory party politics, but viewed from this side of the water Boris looks safe at least until the next general election. He has managed to mobilize a voter base beyond the traditional Tory heartlands, and a continued Tory majority depends on that. Keir Starmer doesn't seem to be offering much of an alternative for the moment anyway.

Either way Gove holds no terrors for the Irish political class. He may be smarter and more hard working than Boris, but he was prepared to try to make the Protocol work and knows where the balance of power between the UK, EU and US lies for the next few years at least. He would have his hands full developing any kind of a positive relationship between the UK and the EU and US in any case. The UK has few friends in high places anywhere now, whether that be in the EU, US, China, Russia, and even the Commonwealth.

If I am right, the UK economy is now in long term relative decline. Trying to maintain a place at the top table in international affairs while your tax base is shrinking is going to be his no. 1 priority. His commitment to Union with Scotland is undoubted, his commitment to union with N. Ireland less so, and only because it could set an unwanted precedent for Scottish independence.

So the British and Irish governments will cooperate to keep the lid on things for as long as possible. N. Ireland will eventually reap some benefits from Single Market membership and things could settle down for a while. Boris, Gove, Sunak, Raab, Hunt, Patel, whoever. It doesn't seem to matter much who is PM from an Irish perspective, and nobody holds out much hope that Starmer would be any different. Globally the UK has slipped down the priority issue list faster than most Brits could have imagined. Let's not confuse polite diplomacy with substance. Brexit may have poisoned relations at a leadership level, but Boris' vaccine nationalism has poisoned them at every level imaginable.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 30th, 2021 at 12:47:23 PM EST
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