The Conservative government is therefore riding high. Mr Johnson’s approval ratings, 29 points lower than those of the opposition Labor leader in September, are now 10 points ahead, and his party is extending its lead in the polls.
The difficulties of the EU have only softened the success of the Conservative Party. For a government that was elected at the end of 2019 for ‘Get Brexit Done’, and a country that officially left the EU just months before registering its first cases of Covid-19, Britain’s comparative speed has perfectly played in the Brexiteers. “Caricature of an inept and ineffective bloc. In a tense exchange, in which the EU threatened to block vaccines destined for Britain, only to back down and then falsely claim that the vaccine was not particularly effective anyway, it also gave up all reason moral that remained. A major German liberal newspaper, Die Welt, called his actions “the best publicity for Brexit”.
The Conservatives encouraged the British to make the same connection. Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, claimed Britain’s regulatory speed was “because of Brexit” (the regulator denied this), and David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, was even more blunt: “If you wanted just one demonstration of the importance of Brexit, you have it.”
Given Britain’s high death toll and the Group of 7’s worst recession, Brexiteers might hope for a better demonstration of their cause. Even now we continue in one of the longest and strictest national lockdowns in Europe (it is only after March 8 that we will be allowed to meet someone outside for a ‘coffee. or a picnic ”in England). But it’s easy to see how, thanks to the vaccine, the nightmare of the pandemic will be absorbed into their favorite Churchillian myth: like another test of national resolve where the country was alone, endured, suffered, and ultimately led the way to death. ‘darkness. .
The pandemic has proved useful in other ways as well, by diverting public attention from the immediate problems caused by Brexit, such as disrupted supply chains and supermarket shortages, and by rendering the economic consequences of Brexit less visible, even if they will last longer.
Mr Johnson is known for his Teflon qualities, and the pandemic could prove to be the final case. His mistakes were glaring, repetitive and costly, but a triumphant rollout of vaccines put a spring in his step.
After an annus horribilis, Mr Johnson is enjoying his best hour – and it will be hard to stop.