'Time to fatten the calf!' German media mock Boris Johnson in Brexit tirade

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In a scathing critique, Alan Posener claimed Boris Johnson was wallowing in “Victorian” sentimentality and that Britain’s EU exit was now a source of bitter regret for many in the UK. Five years have passed since the momentous referendum that saw a majority in Britain vote for a fresh start from Europe. At the time, Brexit supporters argued that European restrictions were holding back the UK economy and lowering living standards,

They said that freeing Britain from Brussels’ bureaucracy would unleash British economic dynamism that would lead to substantial job and wealth creation.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities, insisted that the “opportunities in front of us are immense” in a recent article for the Sun.

However, Mr Posener claimed that like the prodigal son in the biblical story, a majority of Brits wanted to return to their EU home.

Writing in “Die Welt” newspaper, he said: “According to a new poll, 53 per cent of Britons would be in favour of returning to the EU, only 47 per cent against.

“Among younger voters, 77 percent would be in favour.

“The future is European in Britain too, and it is increasingly clear that Brexit was a nostalgic project born of a sense of British exceptionality for which there is no basis in reality.”

The German journalist blamed Mr Johnson’s public school upbringing for having sown the ideological seeds of Brexit in the Prime Minister, by cultivating in him a sense of British exceptionalism.

“Like Boris Johnson and many of his ministers, I was brought up in a British boarding school where British exceptionalism was hammered into us,” he said.

“It was up to us “young Elizabethans”, after the end of the Empire, to rediscover the spirit that had made the country great and, as the hymn we sang daily said, to build a New Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.

“These words of the Victorian still bring tears to my eyes today.

“And so it is no wonder that Boris Johnson said that Brexit was an opportunity to “rediscover the dynamism of bearded Victorians”.

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Earlier in February, the Global Britain Commission set out its plans for a post-Brexit vision that could rake in almost £500 billion per year for the UK economy and create millions of well-paid jobs.

The Commission was the brainchild of Dr Liam Fox who launched his initiative last October.

It boasts leaders from some of the UK’s largest corporations such as Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow, EY, Mace and Forth Ports.

One of the central ideas of the Commission panel is to turbocharge British exports.

Panel members claimed in their report that if Brexit Britain increased exports per capita to equal those of Germany, then the country would add an extra £474 billion each year to its earnings.

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Mr Posener, however, believes that Brexit has actually made it harder for UK companies to export to foreign markets and has diminished the UK as a trading nation.

He said: “The harsh reality is that, according to a survey of 1,100 exporting firms by the British Chamber of Commerce, 71 per cent believe Brexit has put them in a worse competitive position.”

The British-German author concluded by confidently predicting that Brexit would die a death once Mr Johnson was removed from power.

“As House of Lords member Andrew Adonis tweeted these days, ‘If Boris goes, Brexit goes,'” he wrote.

“Time to fatten the calf.”



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