Category Archives: Boris Johnson

May is on a losing streak. England’s mayors could be a trump card | Anne Perkins

The prime minister is in a bind. Civic leaders speak for the people – surely they’re the kind of allies she needs right now

Late last year, the representatives of Britain’s overseas territories gathered in London. It is an annual event for these 14 appendices of empire, some of which, like Antarctica, are barely populated. Gibraltar, with its land border with Spain, is pre-eminent. Most of the others are small islands in hot places with a relaxed approach to tax affairs. In total, there are about 250,000 people living in these territories, who are protected by the crown and represented in their overseas dealings by the Westminster government.

Related: We thought Boris Johnson would tell us his Brexit plans. He said ‘Go whistle’ | Gina Miller

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Source: gad

What does Boris Johnson mean by a ‘teleological construction’?

Word of the week: the foreign secretary’s attempted slur on the EU backfires

The British public has been gratefully exposed to almost every conceivable way of insulting the EU, but Boris Johnson has offered a novel one. Johnson, who gave a key speech on Brexit this week, calls the EU a “teleological construction”; it is “ends-driven”, towards total political unity. In ancient Greek philosophy, teleology is the study of things that have a purpose or are directed towards a goal (telos). So beware the goal those foreigners are plotting towards! Shun teleological constructions!

Related: Boris Johnson warns thwarting Brexit vote would be disastrous

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Source: gad

We thought Boris Johnson would tell us his Brexit plans. He said ‘Go whistle’ | Gina Miller

The foreign secretary’s much-anticipated speech was short on detail, but it made it clear we’re heading for a harsh future

For all the hype, the long-awaited Brexit speech that Boris Johnson delivered today amounted to no more than, in his words, another inverted pyramid of piffle. What we, the people, were hoping for – yearning for, in fact, and certainly had every right to expect – was his Valentine’s Day message to be the moment he finally came clean about Brexit. We’ve had the snake-oil salesman’s patter. What the country urgently needs are the mechanics: we want to know precisely how this Brexit flat pack you have talked us into buying at great cost is actually going to be assembled.

For a start, he needed to address the worst-case scenario: what would happen if we botched this thing’s construction. He needed to spell out that no deal in the talks with the EU would mean no transitional period – and that would mean, certainly in the short term, a run on the pound, businesses exiting and the likelihood of unemployment rising sharply.

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Source: gad

Boris Johnson urges remainers to recognise benefits of leaving EU

Foreign secretary says Britons should still work overseas and go on ‘cheapo flights to stag dos’

UK citizens after Brexit should have the freedom to retire to Spain, work overseas, go on “cheapo flights to stag dos” and fall in love with foreigners just as easily as now, Boris Johnson has said, in a speech urging remainers to see the benefits of leaving the EU.

Johnson, whose speech at the Policy Exchange thinktank in London was billed as the foreign secretary’s vision for a “liberal Brexit”, said he wanted to extend a hand to remain voters who he accepted were feeling a sense of loss.

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Source: gad

Brexit speech: Boris Johnson refuses to rule out resignation – politics live

Follow the day’s political developments as they happen, including the foreign secretary’s ‘road to Brexit’ speech

12.33pm GMT

Chuka Umunna, Labour MP and leading supporter of Open Britain has dubbed the foreign secretary’s speech “an astonishing exercise in hypocrisy”.

He added:

His vision of Brexit may be many things, but it is not liberal.

His plan would see Britain sever trade ties with our largest trading partner, weaken protections for workers, consumers and the environment, and jeopardise the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland, a subject he didn’t even bother to mention.

12.27pm GMT

Senior Tory MP Sarah Wollaston seems underwhelmed by Johnson’s speech.

#Boris presenting an optimistic vision of global Britain. I hope he is right. But his speech did not address any of the serious practical difficulties that will affect real peoples lives with a hard #Brexit

I’m not sure you reach out to constituents who come to visit you in a surgery by humiliating & belittling them in a major speech. Nor will global Britain be advanced by a vision of exporting stag parties or innuendo about visitors to Thailand.

Clear message from #Boris speech that Govt set on regulatory divergence, leaving CU & SM. Now we urgently need a serious speech that addresses the reality of the practical issues, timescales & contingency planning including Irish border. Time for relentless #OptimismBias is over

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Source: gad

Fear and abuse won’t change Brexit minds | Hugh Muir

If there is a strong and positive case to be made to those who voted against despair, surely it’s best made now

A question for the economists: what is the elasticity of Brexit? To be more precise, at what point is it likely that those who voted – amid the flurry of lies and distortions – to leave the European Union will review that decision and begin to rue it? Is it like one of those addictive products – alcohol perhaps, or cigarettes – that people cling to despite the evidence that they are costly and harmful? Or is it something that, with the right approach and in the right circumstances, people might be willing to critically reassess? How much is pragmatic; how much political?

Related: Labour’s priority is Brexit. But it should be the left-behind | Austin Mitchell

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Source: gad

Treatment of Zaghari-Ratcliffe amounts to torture, say family

Husband of woman jailed in Iran makes claim to UN and has resumed campaign for her release

The treatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman serving a five-year jail sentence in Tehran, amounts to torture, her family have claimed in an appeal to the UN. Richard Ratcliffe, who has resumed campaigning for his wife’s release after promises of an early release or a furlough were unfulfilled, said that a submission had been presented to the UN special rapporteur on torture.

It has outlined why in their view her 22 months of imprisonment over allegations of spying amounted to torture, given “the conditions of solitary confinement, the psychological pressures in the arbitrary detention and court proceedings, and her use as a tool of pressure in wider diplomatic affairs”.

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Source: gad

Boris Johnson warns thwarting Brexit vote would be disastrous

Speech telling remainers that vote to leave must not be betrayed branded ‘hypocritical’

Boris Johnson will warn that the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU face a disastrous and irreversible betrayal if attempts to overturn the referendum vote succeed.

The foreign secretary will say “we cannot and will not let it happen” in a major speech on Wednesday marking the start of a series of interventions by cabinet ministers laying out the government’s “road to Brexit”.

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Source: gad

EU endgame is political unity not free trade, argues Boris Johnson

Foreign secretary tries to reach out to remainers with liberal vision of life after Brexit

The founding fathers of the European Union did not create the common market to tear down barriers to trade but to pursue a political project, Boris Johnson will argue this week, in a speech setting out what he claims is a liberal vision for Brexit.

The foreign secretary will call on remain and leave voters to unite, insisting that Britain can take advantage of the referendum vote for economic gain but only if it is ready to diverge on regulations.

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Source: gad

Remains in Europe: mummified woman in Basel is Boris Johnson’s ancestor

DNA tests show Anna Catharina Bischoff is UK foreign secretary’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother

Scientists in the Swiss city of Basel have finally identified a mysterious mummified body after more than 40 years – and discovered that the woman was a relative of the UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.

The corpse has been identified as Anna Catharina Bischoff, who died in 1787. Her body was first uncovered in 1975, while Basel’s Barfüsser church was being renovated. It was well preserved because of a high level of mercury in the remains, often a sign that a person had been treated for syphilis. The site of her burial, in front of the church’s altar, indicated that Bischoff was probably of high status.

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Source: gad