Veteran commentator Peter Oborne on the real reasons why Cummings had to go

Veteran commentator Peter Oborne on the real reasons why Cummings had to go

A combination of Brexit and Biden?

Interesting article in Middle East Eye from Peter Oborne on what he says are the real reasons why Cummings is no longer at Number 10. He writes:

Cummings’ Vote Leave group has long argued that Britain must threaten a no-deal Brexit, with all the risks that involves in terms of economic consequences. In contrast, most Cabinet ministers are now arguing with great force that Johnson must strike a deal. It looks like Cummings has lost the argument. ..The fact that Cummings might have ended up on the losing side in the momentous argument over Brexit is the first substantial reason why the former Vote Leave chief might have walked out of Downing Street last Friday….But there is another likely reason why the prime minister’s senior adviser quit. The victory of Joe Biden in the US presidential election earlier this month is even more important. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Cummings departed Downing Street the week after Biden won his famous victory. Biden opposes Brexit, having made clear that he expects Britain to abide by the Good Friday Agreement. A no-deal Brexit would break this agreement by imposing a hard border between Northern Ireland and the south, with potentially terrible consequences. Cummings seems not to have cared less about this. But with a US trade deal essential to a post-Brexit Britain, Johnson cannot afford to anger Biden.

I must say that I find Oborne’s article persuasive. With Trump on his way out and the need to agree an deal with the EU look like pretty big considerations. A no deal might appeal to the Brexit fundamentalists but the risks of going down that route are very high indeed especially at a time like now when the economy has been so weakened by COVID.

Mike Smithson

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