The Easter story has taken on new levels of relevance this year: a man being arrested after an innocent dinner inside with twelve friends – imagine that!
But while full on physical contact is still viewed by the government as as much a kiss of death as Judas’s, things are finally starting to look up. Many families have finally been able to enjoy the time together that they sacrificed at Christmas. Beer in the park with a few friends is allowed again. And the steady progress of the vaccination programme continues.
No kissing please
No such luck in Europe however, where a rash of new lockdowns have been announced. At the same time, several statistically illiterate European governments have implemented further poorly thought through bans of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The evidence, however, remains clear. Even if the reported clots are conclusively linked to the vaccine (which, so far, they have not been), the numbers remain tiny. Millions of women on the contraceptive pill brave a greater risk of clotting every day. There is more to fear from catching Covid-19 than from taking the vaccine.
The AstraZeneca bans are being decided by national governments, rather than the EU. But it is clear that European leaders would not be acting so erratically if they were not trying to distract their citizens from the vaccine procurement shambles overseen by the European Commission has been a complete disaster, while Brexit Britain has managed just fine. As Daniel Hannan puts it in The Telegraph: ‘EU leaders would rather disregard ownership rights, spread anti-vax conspiracies and violate the rule of law than come to terms with Brexit.’ Meanwhile, the Vice-President of Pfizer has criticised the EU’s excessively demanding export controls, which have been making it ever more difficult to export vaccines which rightfully belong to non-EU governments.
Not going well
The penny seems to be dropping at the reliably pro-EU Economist too, which this week ran a lead article on ‘How Europe has mishandled the pandemic’. If Ursula von der Leyen were still a member of a national government, she would surely be out of a job by now. As things stands, however, the citizens of the EU have no means of removing her. The vaccine debacle has made the EU’s democratic deficit more visible than ever before – even to the EU’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders.
Meanwhile, this week’s report from the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities was denounced by the usual suspects. Criticisms included that the report whitewashed the British Empire. At the same time a YouGov poll found that 43% of respondents viewed the Empire as a good thing while 19% thought it a bad thing. Once again academic and liberal critics are out of touch with most Britons (of all colours).
BfB co-editor Graham Gudgin’s criticisms of the Irish Protocol were discussed on the Marketplace website this week.
Our other co-editor, Robert Tombs, has written a piece on the Sewell Report for The Spectator’s Coffee House website, entitled ‘The race report critics are guilty of gaslighting’. Robert praises the Report as ‘courageous, thoughtful and measured’, while lamenting the ‘torrent of bile’ produced by its partisan critics.
On the website this week
American lawyer Orlando Smith judges that Prime Minister Johnson is not breaking international law by extending the grace periods for the Northern Ireland Protocol. His actions lie within the legal scope of the Protocol itself.
“Despite all of the howling to the contrary, Article. 16, Para. 1 expressly permits the UK to unilaterally take appropriate safeguard measures to relieve serious economic, societal, or environmental difficulties or the diversion of trade occasioned by the application of the NI Protocol.”
Whose law is it anyway? France’s dirty vaccine war against Britain, by Caroline Bell
The vaccine war strays into dangerous territory as a French government minister suggests that the European Commission use a controversial export ban to divert free AstraZeneca vaccines destined for poorer countries to France and a French MEP hopes to deprive vulnerable Britons of their second Pfizer jabs.
“Emmanuel Macron seems to delight these days in bashing AstraZeneca (and by extension, the United Kingdom) in order to divert French ire from his lamentable mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Scottish independence – playing by EU rules, by David Blake
Professor David Blake argue that the SNP want to give back control to the EU (not a slogan they are likely to use).
“The SNP are deluded if they think there will be a smooth transition from being part of the UK to being part of the EU.”
We are also on Twitter, posting articles and retweeting the daily events that bring Brexit to the fore in the national news.
Discussion also continues over on Facebook.
How you can help
There is much about Brexit still to be decided. Our MPs listen to their constituents. Do continue to send them links to our articles, especially on matters relevant to your constituency – for example, in rural areas, articles on the threat to British agriculture. Alternatively, make an appointment to speak to them at their next surgery. Let them know what you want post-Brexit Britain to look like.
As Boris Johnson said in in his post-election address, it is also time for unity and reconciliation. Keep reading our posts and share links to our quality content to help others understand how leaving the EU will be good for the UK economy and for our own democratic governance. We aim to educate our critics to think differently and more positively about the long-term impact of Brexit.
An Oxbridge PhD Student
Dr Graham Gudgin
Economist, Centre for Business Research, Judge Business School University of Cambridge
Professor Robert Tombs
Emeritus Professor of French History, University of Cambridge