Devolution should be rolled back to save Boris Johnson says former Brexit minister
Ex-Brexit minister David Frost has said that Boris Johnson needs to “unite the United Kingdom” to save his job as Prime Minister.
Writing in the Telegraph, Baron Frost, who sits in the House of Lords, said that the pandemic had shown that it was “nonsense” having different rules in different parts of the UK.
He said that the step was necessary to “save Boris, the Conservative Party and the country”.
“First, we must rebuild the UK nation-state as a collective endeavour for everyone within it,” he said.
“The democratic nation-state is the best way human beings have found to create political community and loyalty, to facilitate solidarity, and to make people feel part of something bigger.
“A country with self-respect cannot have its laws set by others. We must therefore finish the business of re-establishing our sovereignty in Northern Ireland – step by step, if necessary, but with no doubt about the final goal.
“We should put an end to ‘devolve and forget’ in Scotland and Wales. Local decision-making is fine, but it should come within a sensible national framework. The pandemic made clear the nonsense of having four different travel and public health policies.”
He also called for stopping “inward migration” and not “conceding special privileges to people purely because they are members of a favoured group” so that the government could “build a more cohesive Britain”.
“Any other path means fragmenting and ultimately undermining our collective life in this country,” he said.
Lord Frost added that not all had gone badly for Boris Johnson’s government, as it had focused on rebuilding the UK’s national identity and sovereignty.
“Admittedly, it has two huge achievements to its credit: getting us out of the EU, and delivering an exit from the pandemic without the coercive measures we have seen elsewhere,” he said.
“Merry England is one of the freest countries in the world.
He added that: “People do care about their country and their communities. They don’t think that the outcomes of free markets are the only things that matter. They know that, in a dangerous world, we can’t be indifferent to where economic activity is and who owns it.
“It is the way of the globalisers – those who were quite happy to offshore business to China, who favour unlimited migration, who don’t think that national identity and history much matter, and who think economic and political judgments are better made by international institutions than by national democracies.
“In a classic case of Orwell’s ‘transferred nationalism’, some make up for the psychological void left by their lack of belief in national identity by a fixation with identity politics – an obsession which, if taken to extremes, risks destroying the cohesion and sense of fairness that democracies need to survive.”
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