Le 26/02/2021. If you work remotely – either because of the COVID-19 pandemic or because that is the nature of your...
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Boris Johnson spent his first 24 hours as the new British Tory* Prime Minister trying to convince Parliament and the European Union (EU) to renegotiate the Brexit deal. The EU has repeatedly refused. Now, the October 31 deadline is less than 100 days away and Johnson’s vow to leave seems to be on a three-part collision course between his ideas, the bloc* and Parliament.
In a 2 1/2-hour speech to Parliament (the last before a six-week-long summer break) he promised a “broader and bolder future” in addition to his Brexit plan. He also said, “I hope that the EU will be equally ready and that they will rethink their current refusal to make any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement, if they do not, we will, of course, have to leave – the UK – without an agreement.”
Without a deal (a ‘no-deal Brexit’), economists predict that the possible ensuing chaos could pose a trade disruption with the bloc by imposing tariffs and customs checks between Great Britain and the bloc. They have also said that the devaluation of the pound would plunge the UK into recession. Nevertheless, Johnson maintains his optimistic attitude, promising to finalise Brexit and hush “the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters” who don’t think it’s possible.
He was heckled during his speech by Labour*** opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn who called Johnson’s rhetoric “arm-waving bluster”. EU Brexit chief Michel Barnier called Johnson’s speech “rather combative”, his demands “unacceptable” and an attempt to “heap pressure on the unity” of the bloc.
Johnson finally appealed to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who reiterated that the EU will not renegotiate the terms that had been struck with Theresa May, adding that “the withdrawal agreement is the best and only agreement possible,” but added that the EU was ready “to analyse any ideas put forward by the United Kingdom, providing they are compatible with the withdrawal agreement.”
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Johnson has not shared details about how he and his government would lessen the shock of leaving the EU without a deal. One thing he has stated is his threat to withhold the agreed-upon £39 billion exit payment that May proposed if there was a no-deal Brexit.
To be continued…
Sandi Toksvig, OBE (for services to broadcasting), President of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth said this about the appointment of Boris Johnson to the position of Prime Minister: “0.2% of the population [Tories- almost exclusively older, white, upper class men] voted to make Boris Johnson PM. It’s embarrassing for the Tory party that he was the best they could do, devastating for democracy and horrifying for the country.”
agreement = un accord
to have to = devoir
to predict = prévoir
to ensue = s’ensuivre
tariffs and customs = des droits de douane
nevertheless = néanmoins
to hush = faire taire
to heckle = interpeller
the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters = les pessimists
bluster = une fanfaronnade
to heap = accabler
to appeal to = lancer un appel à
to strike = (ici) parvenir à
withdrawal = rétractation
providing = à condition que
to lessen = diminuer
threat = une menace
to withhold = différer
agreed-upon = (ici) convenu