Plague Island: How the UK’s Prime Minister made COVID-19 much worse
At the beginning of the year, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union and began a period of transition which was set to end by the end of this month. The UK has had to face a rough year as COVID-19 struck the whole world at the same time the nation was beginning its emancipation process.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was struggling to keep things under control; time was running out and the world was waiting for a course of action for both COVID-19 and Brexit. Finally, last week an accord was reached, although the UK government must still approve it.
Boris Johnson’s lack of planning has got him (even more) bad press. Here are all the reasons why the Prime Minister has made things worse for the UK, earning it the sobriquet “Plague Island”.
Corona strikes back
Last Saturday, Boris Johnson reported a new strain of coronavirus was found in the UK. The new strain is said to be responsible for up to 60% of the contagions during December, apparently more resilient to vaccines.
The new variant of coronavirus is a major concern for several countries, as vaccines only just started being distributed. Now the UK is reported to have almost 40,000 cases a day, a major contrast with last week’s 14,000 cases.
As a result of the new strains, over forty countries have banned flights coming from the UK in an effort to stop the new variant from spreading further. Countries such as Belgium, Canada, Germany, Russia, and Switzerland are no longer admitting flights from the UK at all. Additionally, the Royal Mail has stopped its services to other countries than Ireland.
Ground transportation also came to a halt when France closed its borders to British drivers. The temporary closing caused thousands of truckers to stay trapped until Wednesday. France finally came to an agreement with the UK and reopened its borders on the condition that drivers test negative for COVID-19.
UK’s Brexit deal with the EU
The Brexit deal was reached with only one week to go before the deadline, giving many the impression that the process to divorce the EU was left to the last minute.
If the UK-EU agreement is not ratified by Parliament, serious economic issues loom. Once the deadline arrives, either party could place import taxes on each other, which would affect consumer prices.
These holidays seem to be anything but merry for the UK as they face both a health & economic crisis if they don’t step up their game. All attention is on Boris Johnson. Luckily for him, approval of the accord is likely, making for a Happy New Year for all.