Displaying items by tag: Boris Johnson
Because of Brexit, the UK must submit its own national climate plan to the UN climate body. Nineteen church leaders have written to Boris Johnson asking him to set ambitious goals when he submits the country’s first climate plan under the Paris Agreement. This agreement commits countries to keeping temperature rises ‘well below’ 2C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit them to 1.5C, which is seen as the threshold beyond which the worst impacts of climate change will be felt. The letter to the Prime Minister was signed by the CofE's bishop for the environment, Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury; the Archbishop of Wales; and leaders from the Church of Scotland, the Baptist Union, Methodist Church, URC, and Quakers, as well as 57,000 others who believe the UK could be a true global leader.
Michel Barnier has warned Brexit trade talks could be plunged into ‘crisis’ if Boris Johnson puts forward more legislation that calls into question last year's divorce deal. The Brussels diplomat is worried that the Finance Bill will contain clauses that breach the terms of the Northern Ireland protocol. He was infuriated when No 10 tabled legislation that handed ministers the powers to rip up sections of the Withdrawal Agreement relating to Northern Ireland. Mr Barnier made the warning during a video call with EU27 ambassadors. At the time of writing the future UK-EU relationship is still deadlocked because of disagreements over post-Brexit fishing rights and common standards, and Downing Street has yet to decide on a timetable for publishing the Finance Bill. Talks went on late into the evening on 2 December at the business department in central London. See
Most people haven’t heard of Lee Cain but the resignation of the prime minister's top aide raises the question of whether it heralds a changing of the guard and a new Johnson era, now that Brexit is almost done. Mr Cain is part of the Vote Leave team that has dominated the PM’s first 18 months in office. He and Dominic Cummings have shaped his premiership more closely than anyone else, with an iron grip on the operation of No 10. But during that time, relations have soured between Downing Street and many ministers, as well as many Conservative MPs concerned about the leaks, the U-turns and the way things are run. Pray for the Holy Spirit to make a clean sweep through parliament, replacing ‘power struggles’ with harmony and positive influence based on facts. Pray for a new era in which government ministers practise peaceful relationships where there has been tension.
Politics is concerned with serving the common good, weighing and developing solutions, stewarding resources in the public interest; music touches our experiences, tastes and emotions. Boris Johnson’s description of the NHS as ‘powered by love’ following his recovery from coronavirus was notable in its departure from this pattern. His tribute conveyed something out of the ordinary, reflecting an insight derived not from briefings or expert analysis, but through relationship and direct personal experience. Churches have more in common with music than politics. The greatest Christian commandments have to do with love for God and for other people. One expression of love is kindness, which we have seen in abundance during the coronavirus pandemic. Martin Luther King Jr said, ‘Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.’
The prime minister is hoping for some progress at the current EU Council summit in Brussels before revealing whether he wants the trade deal talks to continue. The two-day summit is the EU’s first Brexit meeting since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The talks began on 15 October, the day that the PM previously set as his final cut-off point for an agreement. However, on the previous da he indicated he would ‘reflect’ on the outcome of the summit before making a decision. Stark differences still remain between the two sides on fishing, and the EU wants a deal, but not at ‘any price’. France is adamant it should maintain long-term access to British waters as part of any trade deal; ‘Britain's demands for annual negotiations over fishing quotas are unacceptable’. Pray for God to give Downing Street wisdom and strength over politically sensitive issues.
In a virtual Conservative conference speech in which Boris Johnson’s gaze extended over the horizon, to the time when our national conversation is no longer dominated by coronavirus. He said he wanted to build a ‘new Jerusalem’, with opportunity for all and improved housing and healthcare. He warned the UK could not return to normal after the pandemic, which would be a ‘catalyst’ for major change; and rejected suggestions he had ‘lost his mojo’ as ‘drivel’. He wants to see the back of coronavirus and the ‘erosion of liberties’ it had led to. He wants to see the country flourishing again. He said, ‘Even in the darkest moments we can see the bright future ahead, and we can see how to build it and we will build it together.’
Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds have confirmed that on 12 September they had their four-month-old son Wilfred baptised by Father Daniel Humphreys at Westminster Cathedral. While little is known about the PM's religious beliefs, Carrie Symonds is a practising Catholic. As it happened, this event provided a solid alibi for Boris when he was accused of travelling to Perugia for a short holiday. The accusation was withdrawn after it became apparent they had mixed up Johnson with former PM Tony Blair. A spokesman said that journalists could ‘confirm with the priest’ that the PM was not in Italy but instead at his son’s baptism.
The limit for wedding ceremonies and receptions is now only 15, a figure which includes the couple, the officiant, and guests. Funeral numbers remain at 30. Boris Johnson said, ‘I am deeply, spiritually reluctant to make any of these impositions, or infringe anyone’s freedom, but unless we take action we risk having to go for tougher measures later, when the deaths have already mounted and we have a huge caseload of infection such as we had in the spring.’ The Government's rule of six for social gatherings excludes weddings, funerals, baptisms, and organised outdoor sports. Justin Welby said, ‘It’s clear that the next six months will be challenging. It’s an urgent reminder that we must keep supporting each other - especially those who are struggling financially, physically, or emotionally.’
Brexit talks have stalled over a series of key issues; neither the UK and EU has shown any willingness to make concessions. The future of British fisheries has remained one bone of contention since the start of the talks, as the EU continues to demand access to UK waters at the end of the transition period. Tim Bale, the deputy-director of the UK in a Changing Europe think tank, suggested Boris Johnson is unlikely to give in to EU demands because of their ‘symbolic’ importance. It’s all about the slogan that won the referendum, ‘Take back control’.
A year ago Boris Johnson promised to tackle the social care crisis. Age UK director Caroline Abrahams said the PM must honour this pledge, or thousands of elderly people will continue to suffer needlessly and the social care sector will never recover from the hammer blow caused by the pandemic. A huge petition, signed by 110,000 people, was handed in, to put pressure on him to deliver on his promise to provide the decent level of care the elderly deserve. Also the UK Home Care Association, which represents those providing home help, said that unless he acts the vulnerable will continue to receive rationed, underfunded services that are started too late to prevent independence deteriorating. When Mr Johnson became Prime Minister, he said his job was to protect people from the fear of having to sell their home to pay for care costs.