Britain is finally Unshackled from the European Union in 2021 after its post-Brexit trade agreement with the European superstate came into effect at the beginning of the year.
The Brexit deadlock was broken when the Conservatives led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a strong majority in the December 2019 general election. The campaign message of Johnson was let’s get Brexit done as three and a half years had passed since the successful leave referendum without the people’s will being implemented.
Now in the era of the coronavirus pandemic Boris Johnson is promising a Lockexit, an irreversible exit from England’s third national lockdown after virus cases and deaths peaked over Northern Hemisphere winter.
Britain’s coronavirus curve is continuing a downward trajectory which medical experts put down to a combination of a successful vaccination rollout and the national lockdown. Brits briefly experienced freedom and international travel during the 2020 Northern Hemphisre summer after their first national coronavirus lockdown in March 2020.
The British Government and law enforcement agencies followed the Melbourne Model when it came to implementing a second and third lockdown during the nation’s second wave. British Police have brutally suppressed dissent to the lockdowns with the full backing of Home Secretary Priti Patel who has consistently urged police to go harder in their lockdown enforcement.
In fact Priti Patel is attempting to give British Police greater powers to break up non-violent protests through her Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently before the British Parliament.
Opposition to Priti Patel police powers bill grew after the Metropolitan Police physically removed and arrested women who gathered at a vigil in South London on March 20 to pay respect to murdered woman Sarah Everett for which an off duty local police officer Wayne Couzens was arrested for and will stand trial for her murder later in the year. The next weekend saw anti-lockdown protestors overpower police at Hyde Park in London who were forced to retreat and riots occur in the city of Bristol during the Kill the Bill protests against the bill with police vehicles set alight and damaged caused to Bristol city’s police building.
On February 22nd Boris Johnson announced his very slow irreversible roadmap out of lockdown. It is even slower than that of Victorian Premier Dan Andrews’ roadmap of lockdown in September 2020, like Johnson, Andrews justified its slow pace by stated he wanted a roadmap not just to reopen but to stay open.
The full reopening of the UK or ‘covid normal’ will not occur until at least June 21. The first part of the first step out of lockdown or Step 1A came into effect on March 8 where Brits could meet with one other person in public for social visits, aged care residents are allowed one visitor, and schools and colleges can return to in-person learning.
Step 1B has come into effect for the UK Easter holidays which sees the ‘rule of six’ gathering rule return to outdoor areas only, home visitors are still not permitted, outdoor sporting facilities including tennis and golf reopen, and the Stay at Home message is being replaced by Stay Local.
Boris Johnson has expressed his optimism that step two will be implemented as planned on April 12 which sees all retail and personal service providers reopen, outdoor dining allowed in hospitality, outdoor entertainment reopen, household only holidays permitted, and limited weddings and funerals.
Steps three and four are planned for May 17 and June 21 respectively which will finally see private home gatherings permitted, indoor hospitality permitted, crowds returning to sporting events, and some international travel permitted depending on the coronavirus situation in other nations at that time.
The Johnson Government was at its lowest ebb after its unsuccessful tier restriction system, the failure of its trace and trace contact tracing, when it reneged on its promised relaxed gathering rules for Christmas and then soon after announcing that schools could reopen closed them again when implementing the third national lockdown on January 5. But with the covid vaccination rollout program easily the most successful in Europe and the hope of a normal summer with limited travel and holidays the government’s fortunes have increased in opinion polling.
Many believe that the full completion of Brexit from the European Union has allowed the UK to implement a rapid and successful vaccine program. A third wave is hitting Europe and its desperation for vaccines is causing European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to issue all sorts of threats about seizing vaccine factories and blocking vaccine exports from the EU’s member nations.