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Ros Taylor

Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

June 19th, 2020

Putting a tiger in the tank: 19 June update

1 comment | 5 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Ros Taylor

Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

June 19th, 2020

Putting a tiger in the tank: 19 June update

1 comment | 5 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Boris Johnson wants a deal sooner rather than later, the European Commission reportedly makes a fishy concession, and the unpopularity of Labour’s election position on Brexit becomes clearer: Ros Taylor and Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (LSE) round up the week’s Brexit news.

On Monday, Boris Johnson videoconferenced European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen for a somewhat inconclusive discussion about Brexit. The PM expressed his desire to get an outline deal done by July and urged EU leaders to ‘put a tiger in the tank’.

For younger readers, this was an allusion to an Esso slogan devised in 1959.

tiger fur
Photo: fPat Murray via a CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0 licence

President of the European Council Charles Michel responded drily:

On Thursday Johnson welcomed Emmanuel Macron in London and indicated to the French president that there was no point in delaying a deal until the late autumn.

There was excitement in the Times: ‘Brussels is preparing to back down over a Brexit fishing deal and acknowledge for the first time that European fleets do not have an automatic right to fish in British waters.’

Barnier hopes this concession will help to ‘unlock negotiations’. LSE Brexit has a useful primer on the fish issue.

In recent weeks some have suggested that hardline Brexiters hope to disguise the economic impact of no deal behind that of COVID-19. In an intriguing thread, former SPAD to the PM Raoul Ruparel says this is misleading. The sectors hit by coronavirus and those affected by no deal are different:

Meanwhile, public opinion in the UK seems to be tacking somewhat to Remain – though of course we have already left. Kantar found 56% in favour, while a Times/YouGov poll found only 40% believe Britain was right to leave (47% disagreed).

‘Dithering’ and ‘dire’: Labour has published a report into the reasons for the 2019 General Election defeat, finding the ‘ambivalent’ Brexit policy of promising a referendum on a future Brexit put off voters. It repelled both leave and remain supporters, says the Guardian. However, the Huffington Post reports that a Conservative pledge to hire more nurses was far more important to so-called ‘Red Wall’ voters.

‘The rhetoric of successive Conservative leaders saw Parliament get the blame’ for delaying Brexit, says Meg Russell:

Parliament and Brexit: what went wrong, and why we urgently need to fix it

Italians want more Europe, not less

Elsewhere on LSE blogs

COVID-19 may strengthen Central-Eastern Europe – will it embrace the EU or nationalism?

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About the author

Ros Taylor

Ros Taylor is co-editor of LSE Brexit.

Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (@RochDW) is a researcher at the LSE Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit. He co-edits the LSE Brexit 2020 blog.

Posted In: #LSEThinks

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