BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS

BLEAK BRITAIN (Covid-19 and Brexit the perfect storm)

July 19, 2020 Dana Lewis Season 1 Episode 18
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
BLEAK BRITAIN (Covid-19 and Brexit the perfect storm)
Chapters
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
BLEAK BRITAIN (Covid-19 and Brexit the perfect storm)
Jul 19, 2020 Season 1 Episode 18
Dana Lewis

In this episode of Back Story with Dana Lewis, a conversation with former Member of European Parliament for The Uk, Irina von Wiese, and Political Commentator Jo Phillips. 

We talk about the inequalities of The Two Londons in The Pandemic.

And, BREXIT is looming.   Britain has already left Europe on paper, but in reality the border closes at the end of 2020.  If The UK isn't bankrupted by Covid-19, it soon will be when BREXIT happens and polls show most Brit's would vote against leaving Europe if the referendum was held again. 

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Back Story with Dana Lewis, a conversation with former Member of European Parliament for The Uk, Irina von Wiese, and Political Commentator Jo Phillips. 

We talk about the inequalities of The Two Londons in The Pandemic.

And, BREXIT is looming.   Britain has already left Europe on paper, but in reality the border closes at the end of 2020.  If The UK isn't bankrupted by Covid-19, it soon will be when BREXIT happens and polls show most Brit's would vote against leaving Europe if the referendum was held again. 

Speaker 1:

So maybe they feel that there just is not a deal to be had and they will be better somehow just leaving the EU with no deal at all.

irina von weiss :

No, that's not the case at birth Johnson cares about one thing. He's always cared about this as far as Johnson unwillingness to compromise and it's unwillingness to be sensible.

Speaker 1:

Hi everyone. And welcome to backstory. I'm your host Dana Lewis broadcasting this week from the COTAs here in the South of France with my family. I drove here from London. The Euro tunnel was filling up with people like us, who didn't want to risk air travel people, sensibly wearing masks in shops, by the way, mandatory in a mall we entered in Monaco. We've even had our temperature taken before being allowed onto the patio of an outdoor restaurant. The virus is taken extremely seriously here as it should be. France was one of the first to lock down written. One of the last, no wonder the UK has suffered so many deaths, third highest after America and Brazil on backstory just as the UK tries to reopen. It may be slammed with the second wave and its economy will get hit with a double whammy, a pandemic and an ill timed exit from Europe, which polls now say most Brits don't want, Oh , we can get a fantastic , uh , new , uh , free trade agreement with the EU , uh, by the end of 2020. And we will not

irina von weiss :

Extend the transition period beyond the 2020 . Those are absolutely

Speaker 1:

The UK left the European union on the 31st of January, 2020 and is now in an 11 month transition period. During this period, the UK effectively remains in the EU customs union and single market and continues to obey EU rules. However, it is no longer part of political institutions. So for example, there are no longer any British MVPs that's members of European parliament, but we have one with us on backstory, a former European member of parliament from London and our other important guest , one of our regular political commentators. And there's lots to talk about. Let's switch to the United Kingdom and talk to political commentator, Joe Phillips, and also the former member of European parliament arena, irina von weiss . Welcome both of you.

irina von weiss :

Hi , hi ,

Speaker 1:

We start with COVID-19 because the country has lost more than 50,000 people to the virus. Uh , the actual figure may be 70,000. And as I'm speaking to you from the South of France, where I've escaped with my family for a brief vacation, we drove no, no planes, no trains , um, no crowded beaches

Speaker 3:

Right now, the deaths here are about 30,000 more than half of what the UK has white .

irina von weiss :

Well, we were very, very slow off the Mark weren't we , um, I think , uh, you know, the , the UK government has been stumbling around , um, they missed the early warning signs. They went into some sort of denial. They weren't ready to cope with it. The track and trace has been tickled shambles and the messaging since locked down has been absolutely chaotic. Um, and we still now discover today , um, the figures have been released showing COVID-19 debt , even if somebody got hit by a bus and died as a result of a road traffic . So there's a whole lot of skepticism and this trust. Um, and of course the other thing that's happening ,

Speaker 3:

I know I want to jump in there really quickly because that may be a bit of a smoke screen by Manhattan clock. The health secretary of Britain, who up until now has lied about testing, lied about medical protective gear, and suddenly, you know, a lot of people not following the UK news one, understand that he suddenly said today that , um, they have put out statistics in the past where people had COVID-19 and then later on died, but probably didn't die from COVID-19, but from some other cause of death that has somehow torque the statistics. And he's trying to suggest that, you know, it could be very dramatic. Now I tend to think it probably is not very ,

irina von weiss :

No, I don't think it is in any way. If the people still are the people who died still had COVID-19, it is still an infection and it's not just the deaths that we need to be looking at. It's the infection and the rate of infection.

Speaker 3:

You want to take a run at that before we move on, on the numbers?

irina von weiss :

Well , I think we have to take it. We have to look at the bigger picture here and why it is that certain countries have so, so much better than others. And we also have to look at, what does it say about the style of government? Why is it that author Italian governments had found particularly writing authoritarian governments across the globe, has something nominated badly in this pandemic from Brazil to the United States to Saudi do United Kingdom. And I think it does have to do with stress. And I think it also has to do with the degree to which now we used to , um, having disinformation and simply distorted facts presented,

Speaker 3:

Sorry, are you calling the United Kingdom and the United States authoritarian governments ?

irina von weiss :

I am indeed. And I do that very deliberately because I believe that we are in the state now with the disinformation has taken on such a proportion that there is simply no more trust in , um, in the government, the numbers that we have been presented as still very right. He said, you know, about our own over the place. People do not trust these governments anymore. And I've let me be very specific. What I mean about authoritarian is not, of course, a regime that is void of any control. Um, there has been , um, an attempt to hold the government to account to account , but I believe that having, you know, the kind of authorities that we see , um , in the house of comments , the majority of the conservative party of 80 has really given Bernice Johnson. Um, the, the, the idea that he can really , um, you know, impose , um, his own, his own ideas, which were all over the place without really being held to account.

Speaker 3:

The point raising about accountability is pretty important.

irina von weiss :

It's interesting that the three of the countries that you mentioned arena of USA, UK and Brazil, of course, if you've got three men leading them who have got egos the size of their own countries, if not the planet who won't listen to anybody else and will do things their own way . And the countries where , um , the, the , uh , pandemic has been handled well have been by and large led by women. And most of the, you know, it certainly in the UK government, it is a very male government surrounded by male advisors and those men , um , they won't put their hand up and say, hang on a minute, how's that going to work? Cause those sorts of men would never, ever show that they didn't agree they're on a greasy,

Speaker 3:

But I mean, in fairness to the government, there are lots of very bold men , uh , in government. Uh, some of them in the conservative party who have been silenced by Boris Johnson are pushed to the back benches , uh , and they have stood up and , and really sounded alarm bells. You know, the , there is going to be a public inquiry of some kind that has been called for by the opposition parties. And now the prime minister has said acknowledge that there will be , uh , uh , an inquiry of some kind, but which will be interesting how they set the framework for that. And they'll obviously try to set it in favorable terms for, for number 10 Downing street and Boris Johnson, but, you know , the UK was hit worst of all in, in Europe. Uh, and now you have this government report, which, which says there could be 120,000 more deaths this winter. Now, if that is true, that is a shockingly high section .

irina von weiss :

And we still don't have the track and trace system up and running. We've still got people who are waiting for normal medical procedures, whether it's operations or cancer treatment, or other forms of treatment screening and testing. So you're building up this huge backlog of health problems. And we still don't know, and this is not just a UK thing. This is worldwide. We still don't know the longterm effects of coronavirus on people's hearts and respiratory systems and their brains. So we don't know what we're storing up in terms of trouble .

Speaker 3:

Let me explain the problem at number 10, Downing street gets Boris Johnson had it, I'm sorry, that's a nasty joke, but there is a, there is a, a lack of leadership, both in the United States.

irina von weiss :

If you hadn't had it we'd have been even worse. We'd have been like Brazil because I don't think he even believed it existed until he was so seriously. But you know, this is, this is a government that will be all. We think the NHS is wonderful. Let's all go out and clap for carers and then slap car parking charges on the poor people going to work in hospitals.

Speaker 3:

All right . For people, not from the UK, the NHS is a national healthcare system and they have been sending out parking tickets to , uh, to healthcare workers that are obviously parking nearby hospitals so they can get to work and save people's lives arena. Are you going to put your kids back in school this fall? I mean, I'm not sure I'm going to , I've got a 12 year old and a 16 year old, your daughter's Howell .

irina von weiss :

My daughter will be 16 as well. And so she missed out on one , if a key exams , I guess I am putting it back at school. I think that is key that , um, you know, we do get the education system back up in funding because the long term cost of that , that gap in education, particularly for those children who already have an attainment gap is going to be enormous. And I think it is, it is best for the unfair on that younger generation. Am I worried? Yes, of course. I'm worried. I'm a father is immunocompromised. I think it is a very personal decision that everybody has to make for themselves. But what we see now is that the lockdown , um, the long term consequences of that often are going to be much, much more wide reaching. And we're also uncover the divisions in our society.

Speaker 3:

Can I talk to you about that since you've raised it, because I know you wrote a pretty interesting article that that kind of got me interested in talking to you today more than anything. And that is , uh , you, you talk specifically about London and to London's because there are a lot of rich people in London and , and well off people in London who have been pretty well immune from, from this, not all of them, but they have been able to isolate and be able to stay away from work and work from home. But frontline people, which draw on some of the least economically well off in London have had to go to work. And a lot of them have gotten sick.

irina von weiss :

Yes. Because describe the tale of two cities. And , um, I have to say Dana, I was absolutely shocked, and this is not something that should come really as a surprise. But when I, when I started again at the beginning of lockdown , um, I , I needed to get some exercise. So called had my bike. And , um, I cycle through where I live, which is West London, and then process him down to South London. And it was striking. There was nobody, nobody in the streets, in the , the affluent forest , which is Kensington Westminster. And then when you get to South London, you really it's like entering a different world. Not only was there no sign off , such a distancing of locked on anywhere, there were people queuing . And I said , we're queuing for groceries. Like, like elsewhere were queuing cash machines because they didn't have access to contactless or to, even to a credit cards. And then it started talking to people and they said to me, well, I'm being sent out to work in highly dangerous environments as a bus driver, as an Uber driver security guys, or indeed at NHS stuff. And then you're asking me in my free time that I can't see my grandchildren or my grandparents for that matter, or my loved ones that I can't go out. So obviously it is, it is a completely different pictures. We have four times more people getting infected and dying from this disease from the most deprived parts of society then from the richest.

Speaker 3:

So I suspect Joe, that's just not London. That's probably major cities all over the world.

irina von weiss :

I think it is. I think it is probably major cities all over the world, but I don't think it's exclusive to cities. It's I think it's more visible the difference in cities. Um, but where I live , um, on the English coast, you know, we have pockets of great deprivation and actually there were two areas, not far from me that maybe going into localized lockdown, you know, there's a real problem when Irene is absolutely right. If you don't have access to contact less payment, if you don't have access to computers and stuff to help your kids learn when they will have been on a school bus for six months, by the time in September, if you're a private renter, a private tenant, you're at the mercy of your private landlord. And as Irina rightly says, the people who are working in the jobs as security, guards, cleaners, delivery, drivers, healthcare assistants , these are the people who we know have been bettering the Bronx, the toll of death and illness across the board through this . And particularly people from the black and ethnic minority communities,

Speaker 3:

I guess what makes me scratch my head is, I mean, first of all, you know, my heart goes out to those people and , uh, you know, we , we hope that they have jobs at the end of this and they're able to support their families. And they're able to do it in a safe way because, I mean, I think there's at least two dozen bus drivers, for instance, that have died in London, from COVID-19 and staying on the frontline and staying on the job. A lot of this has taken place and there have been deaths from people who work in the tube as well. And, you know, but I personally think, and I'll bounce this off both of you, and you can jump on me if I'm thinking the wrong way, but isn't it a bit ridiculous, always to blame big business and wealth in London for everybody's ills when they employ millions of people and account for 23% of the UK economy. And I , and so we have to be able to talk about the, have nots without dragging the people who do work and do supply employment through the streets.

irina von weiss :

But Dana, I don't think anybody's blaming wealthy people. It is the structure of our society,

Speaker 3:

But there's a lot of hostility towards London.

irina von weiss :

And I can tell you that, you know, an awful lot of those empty places that arena was psyching , most of them were going to their second terms down here, much to the resentment of local people who live in these small coastal communities. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

I'm here at zero. You're how far from London, again,

irina von weiss :

I'm 60 miles from London, the first bit of seaside you come to when you head South. Um , but I mean, it's not about wealthy people, but it is about how we are aware of each other and that is down to government. And I think it's also down to the mayor of London, who I think has had a terrible, terrible pandemic . He has not been brave. He has not stood up to government. He hasn't insisted on proper safeguards for the people who actually come on to his auspices and like the transport workers who drive the buses. And the ,

Speaker 3:

A lot of people say he was very late to even get them protective masks. Do you want it ? You want to jump in here?

irina von weiss :

I totally agree. He was, he was too late, but I wouldn't put the main blame at his feet either. I do think that this is a systemic problem, which has pre-existed the pandemic and it's become obvious now, but it is something that we should have addressed of course. Um, decades ago when the income got underwhelmed Scott specifically in London , um , were wider and wider and wider. And no, it is not the fault of the business. So even the incentives given to businesses , um, who was, who was positive for what I fully acknowledge, it really is a problem about , um, housing , um, transport and other policies that infrastructure has been completely ignored over over many, many decades and really a powder case , which is now about to blow up. But it's also, I think about this powder keg about to blow up. I mean , um , because I worked with some of these deprived communities and the truth is that , um, you know, black lives matter for example, and there was, there was a specific reason why this came up . No , but you know, it's not like we haven't had problems with racism over so many, many years. And so many people, not just BME , people feel completely disenfranchised. They don't trust the government.

Speaker 3:

What , what will be the, as you say, it's going to blow up, but what is going to blow up?

irina von weiss :

Well, I think we now see that so many more people from these deprived communities are dying. We start asking ourselves, why are their dying? They're not dying, they're dying of other diseases and they are dying frankly, of , of poverty. Um, and they're also dying probably from lack of access to basic infrastructure, helps parents , et cetera. And all of this has now to a point where I think, you know, as, as a society, we've really reached a catastrophic level and this is just the beginning of it. I'm sorry. I don't want to sound like one of these dunes .

Speaker 3:

It's interesting to get your take on a Joe . Is that, is that your take on it? I mean that yes, people are suffering. Yes. We're re we're in a catastrophe. There is no doubt that there's a ticking time bomb on the street because a lot of people like that through America, but not to the UK.

irina von weiss :

I don't know. I think there will be flashpoints , but I think the flash points will come as we've seen with the black lives matter or extinction rebellion, but they're more likely to come from illegal race , frankly. And the people not social distancing. I think the real problem is yes, disenfranchisement and complete distrust in government. And unless you come to , unless you have the public with you, you actually can't go home . So the next time you say, Oh, we've got a spike. It's October, we've got winter flu, we've got a spike in coronavirus . We're going into lockdown. Why would anybody listen?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think they're going to have a, you know, as a resident of London, myself, I think they're going to have a hell of a time trying to get people to get back inside. And another lockdown , especially after this, this moron Dominic Cummings , the right hand man of, of, of, of the prime minister went out for a joy ride to test his eyes. I mean, come on it's family . I think, I think that , I think for everybody that was, you know, a kind of cold water on, in , on everybody and they just said, okay , this is not a serious lockdown. If he can do it, we can do it. Look in the middle of all of this. You have Brexit looming, which nobody's talking about much. I mean, it's beginning now to get back into the front page because we, you know, the deadline is, is coming very quickly. Um, so you have the shaking pandemic rattling the foundations of economies around the world. And the UK seems to be heading for a no deal Brexit with both. Would both of you agree that that's looks like a what's on the horizon and what does it mean?

irina von weiss :

Yes, Dana , I think unfortunately you're absolutely right about this. Um , and we have been talking about this quality law , um, with, you know, my, my European friends, I'm a citizen . So , um, I also work with EU citizens , live in the UK and are very worried about their future. What are we going to see is at very best once the end of the year, some form of skeleton agreements , more likely, some completely fractured, you know , literally agreement on some , um , lesser important , uh , areas of cooperation, but there is no chance that we can still get a comprehensive deal. It would have to be agreed by October in order to be ratified by December.

Speaker 3:

Sorry , sorry to cut you off arena, but Joe, do you think we're heading in for a no deal Brexit? Yes I do. Because I think, I think Boris Johnson.

irina von weiss :

Yeah. And I think it's a real shame because Tony Blair, the forehead ,

Speaker 3:

Kenny, not care. He was elected . If that's what he got

irina von weiss :

Elected on, he wants to deliver Brexit. He doesn't care about the consequences any more than he cares about the consequences of a policy that thinks it's more important to get people back to the pub , then people then kids to go back to school. Interestingly, Tony Blair, the former prime minister had commissioned a report that was published this week. And what that report is recommending is a delay of 12 months. Now this isn't extending the extension period to ask for it , but yeah, Boris Johnson would have to ask for it. And that comes back to the, you know, would he do that? He doesn't have to break his promise. He doesn't have to renege on his promise of not asking for an extension. This would give us a year to , um , to unravel and to sort of nail down some of the

Speaker 3:

Yeah, but he's not going to do it. And it , do you really think, I mean, let's, let's cut them . Let's cut him a little bit of Slack here. I mean, maybe it's not ego. Maybe they feel that there just is not a deal to be had and they will be better somehow just leaving the EU with no deal at all.

irina von weiss :

No, that's not the case at Boris Johnson cares about one thing I need , which is why he's always cared about this. As far as Johnson, he could have had a idea . I don't think he ever wanted to do it now. Of course he has found his cues because he's going to blame the economic fallout from a new Brexit. It's a no deal Brexit on the pandemic. This is exactly what he's going to do. Come next year. This has nothing to do with Brexit. This is all because of the pandemic. And it will be very, very hard of course, to , to fight that that's argument. So I'm afraid

Speaker 3:

Term though , isn't it ? I mean, that's a short horizon. I mean, if you deliver Brexit by crashing out, I mean on the next chapter is a very dark one economically.

irina von weiss :

Yeah. But you , but it's going to be dark anyway because of coronavirus. Um, and you know what he will do. I, I still think he will stand down when the , when the going gets tough. The questions begin to have to be answered properly. I still think he will say, I'm not properly recovered. I'm a stand down for my health.

Speaker 3:

You were the first and only person to say this to me and me . You told me that before you actually think he may simply walk out at number 10 Downing around Christmas time.

irina von weiss :

I think he's a , he's a prime minister for the good times. He doesn't actually pay attention to detail. We know that from his time as mayor of London and he's admitted himself, he hasn't even read the report into the second wave of coronavirus . He's not looking at these Brexit negotiations. He just wants to say I delivered Brexit on time . Great .

Speaker 3:

Yeah , everybody else can clean up the mess after that, you know, the bolster say if there was another referendum today, a fair one, not by the leave campaign and without Russian interference and no doubt there was Britain would vote to stay in the EU. I mean, that seems tragic

irina von weiss :

At this point , Dana, that was already true in December the December elections. And the truth is at 53%, almost 54% of the British population voted for parties in December last year that wanted a second referendum. Um , so the likelihood is that their votes, if they want one , they would have voted to remain. That is the real tragedy of Brexit. And we know that even more people today are starting to see what a catastrophic outcome, this will be for Britain in the longer run. But of course it is too late and it is also almost too late for a comprehensive deal . So I'm afraid I have to agree with doing that. The author is extremely big. We're looking into a double whammy to the British economy. Um, and the sad thing, the really tragic thing is that the Johnson government has managed to mess it both up. You has not prevented the desk and he has not prevented the tragic output outcome of , of a lockdown. So we've got the economic consequences of the knockdown and we've got the health consequences of them . Lack of blocks down at the beginning.

Speaker 3:

Why should it, when , other than the UK care about whether the UK leaves the European union, I mean, if you're an American, if you're living in Europe, have people kind of already come to terms with it. And they said , okay, you know , Brittany ,

irina von weiss :

Well, but I think it , it, you know, we are , we are in this global crisis, which is not just COVID-19, it's the climate emergency. We see an increasingly isolationist America on the drunk and we see China and Russia becoming much, much more assertive. So the world has turned on its head, if you like, and that's been accelerated by coronavirus, for sure. But it's also, you know, if you start having people leaving the club, I think it did shake the EU EU partners , uh , at the beginning of the referendum result. But I think Britain is unwillingness to compromise and it's unwillingness to be sensible where you could actually say to people, look, there are events beyond our control. We're going to have a year where we come around these details, but I'm not going back on my deal that would actually give breathing space

Speaker 3:

Parallels between the Trump victory , uh, and the Brexit victory. And a lot of people think that Trump is , is headed for a major defeat in November, based on current polling and the change of demographics in America. And I tend to agree with that. I don't think unless something amazing happens, I think Joe Biden's gonna win it. And a lot of people think that that , uh , Boris Johnson's future is wrapped up and maybe Brexit is wrapped up in this as well. That people that were against immigration are now more pro immigration. For instance,

irina von weiss :

Dana , I wish I wish you were not . But unfortunately, unlike our friends in the U S we do not have a chance unless something very drastic happens to vote. Again, we have the chance and the chance was lost. And , and, you know , I think we have to come to terms now that it is some form of Brexit , um , is going to be implemented. And indeed we cannot go back, even if we wanted to, because of course that would take two to tango, but back to your question, why do we should, why should others care ? I talk a lot to my former colleagues at the European parliament and to my friends across the continent. They do care greatly about Britain because we are the crossroads where multi-lateralism as such is threatened and where the European union is the last remaining democratic block of nations that can stand up to the bullies in China and in Russia and elsewhere. So , um , and you know, I do think that it matters. And even if we do see

Speaker 1:

Right now, what do they leave?

irina von weiss :

We rely on us trying to deal with some pecans . So the corporate close cooperation with Europe, with our friends and the European union will remain absolutely crucial for both sides. In my view,

Speaker 1:

Joe, the UK is already standing up to China now, anyway. So whether they're in the EU or out of the U S foreign policy will be to take China on,

irina von weiss :

I don't think so either report this week about, you know , Russia trying to steal their, you know, the vaccine details and all the rest of it, but standing up on your own, isn't the same as standing up with other people. You know what I mean? It's just ridiculous. It's just nothing. I mean, they already have, and everything of itself worked on quite intensity . And in a previous incarnation, I was working in the ICT industry. I mean, it's too late. Their infrastructure is already in the ground. It is, it is now extremely difficult to really rip that all up. And let's not forget, we still have massive Chinese investment in UK ports , um, Hinkley C their nuclear power plant, but also in, in infrastructure utilities, such as Tim's water, which is part owned by Chinese companies. Nobody knows this, but, but, you know, there was no way we can send up to China as the Chinese, that laughing. We are now on our own completely insignificant on the world stage without the you . And when I was working at the European parliament, you know, we, we nominated a UGA professor for the fries and the Chinese, but trying to shut this down, but they couldn't because these were 28 countries working together. But, you know, Brinton on its own is already much too dependent in economic terms on China to really put a , put a foot done or take his stuff ,

Speaker 1:

Sorry , go ahead, Joe,

irina von weiss :

Brittany's becoming even more microscopic and insignificant because the way we're going , you know, England is separate from Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland would much rather in the European union and the , you know, the whole coronavirus has strengthened their hand for Scottish independence. We are, I think looking down, not just the double barrel of a recession in a global pandemic, again, I think we're looking down the fact that we will end up with a very tiny country, which is pretty much the end 25. I'm governed by on that .

Speaker 1:

Wow. A madman Britain's economy is likely to suffer the worst damage of the COVID-19 crisis of any country in the developed world. According to a report by the organization for economic cooperation and development, you have a second wave of COVID-19 chasing after you. You've got Brexit on the front doorstep. Anybody want to say anything positive just to , to close out our segment here,

irina von weiss :

Weather is good. I had the virus already now. I mean, you know, it's, it's, it's not a great situation. I think , um, there is however, a realization by many people that they have to rethink the way that our society works. Our economy works . And I do like the fact that , um , people are talking more about investing in a green economy. Um, I do like the fact that people are thinking about alternative structures of working of commuting. And I do think that liberalism is not dead and that we will have , um , uh , debates about , um, you know, misinformation , uh, and honesty in politics. I very much hope that that will be , um, one of the silver linings of this crisis. I think it's given, I think it's given all of us a chance whether we want to do it or not to reflect and to a certain extent recalibrate. And I think for many individuals and families it's meant that exactly is there . That says people in question, whether they need to spend five hours a day commuting to do stuff that they could just as easily do at home. It's a great shame that our government and other governments around the world don't seem to be using this time to go hang on. We could actually do things so much better.

Speaker 1:

Force three calibration with Joe Phillips and , uh , and Irina Von visa . Thank you so much. The two of you for your insight and commentary today.

irina von weiss :

Thank you, Dana. Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Prime minister, Boris Johnson strategy may be that a no deal Brexit would be lost in the continuing economic horrors of the pandemic. He is obsessed by pursuing a policy of self harm for the British economy via Brexit say many and some food for thought. President Trump's faltering political fortunes pose another risk to Johnson's Brexit Britain. The president has enthusiastically supported Brexit and embraced the British prime minister as the like-minded and bizarrely Trump said recently the European union was formed to take advantage of America.

Speaker 4:

The European union was formed in order to take advantage of the United States. They formed and they take advantage of the United States. And I know that they know, I know that, but other presidents had no idea

Speaker 1:

Is it in Trump were to lose in November prime minister Johnson would face an uncertain counterpart in Joe Biden. December 31st, 2020 Britain may be on its own locked out of the European common market with no significant trade deals in place and an economy in far worse shape than the great depression on that nutso cheery note. That's this edition of backstory. Thanks for listening. I'm Dana Lewis and I'll talk to you soon.