We’re not hearing the “B” word much, even though Rishi Sunak is Britain’s prime minister.
“B” for Brexit.
“B” for botching Britain’s economic prospects.
There are some other rude words that start with “B” but I think it’s fine to stop at Brexit. It tells you quite enough about how a country and people can be self-harming and self-righteous about it; how they can deliberately hurtle towards catastrophe, eyes wide open and singing “hurrah” all the way.
Brexit should be mentioned in the same breath as Mr Sunak because he truly, deeply, madly believes in it.
Unlike Boris Johnson, who used Brexit as an opportunistic tool to raise his political profile and rise to the top of the pile, Mr Sunak is a true believer. Unlike Mr Johnson who could have gone either way, Mr Sunak honestly thinks that Britain is better off outside the world’s largest trading bloc.
It’s bananas. Brexit, that “B” word that has become unsayable in Britain as 2022 fades to its gloomy end, has had immense effects on this country. The UK’s trade deficit, for instance, has ballooned despite sterling’s decline.
As Camilla Cavendish noted in the ‘Financial Times’(paywall), “Sunak is no Davos man: he was a committed Leaver, who wants immigration control; a libertarian who argued against prolonging Covid lockdowns.” Even so, she pointed out that Mr Sunak was generally candid about reality in his former role of chancellor. So why not speak truth to the power of Brexit?