Acton Institute Powerblog

Boris Johnson emphasizes transatlantic links, optimistic post-Brexit future (video)

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Despite a series of setbacks on the most important political issues of his day, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson still envisions a free, innovative future that links the transatlantic sphere in prosperity. He recently outlined his vision of a post-Brexit future that will unleash the creativity and wealth-creating powers of citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.

Johnson made surprisingly forward-looking and optimistic remarks shortly after the Supreme Court of the UK ruled his decision to prorogue Parliament “unlawful.”

The prime minister, while undoubtedly crestfallen, sounded upbeat while addressing a group of U.S. and Canadian businessmen in New York City on Tuesday.

He began by discussing how transatlantic “fusion” led to the flourishing of the U.S. and UK. American and British inventors contributed to the subway system – or “the tube,” as it’s known in London – the steel veins of both cities.

He still insisted the UK would leave the European Union on October 31, although Parliament has passed legislation seeking to bar him from doing so without a withdrawal deal.

At that point, he said, “We intend to be more global, more outward looking, more committed to the rest of the world than ever before.”

“And we’re going to take advantage of all the freedoms that Brexit can give,” he said, citing “new tax allowances for investment,” “enterprise zones,” “more competitive tax rates,” and “better” (read: fewer) regulations.

A free trade deal with the U.S. would further this alliance, he said, although he specified that he does not “want our NHS to be on the table” for negotiations. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused Johnson of wanting to privatize the nation’s flailing healthcare system, a position that is considered politically toxic.

With that exception, Johnson saw goods and services flowing freely between North American and UK ports.

“It’s absolutely absurd that there should be tariffs in the UK on Californian wine – heavy tariffs – or that British shoppers should pay over the odds for Florida orange juice,” he said. But it is equally “absurd” that most Americans have “gone decades without eating a morsel of British lamb, or beef – let alone haggis.”

At the same time, “the U.S. military are banned from buying British tape measures – as though there were some kind of general prejudice still against British rulers of all kinds.”

Johnson, who has a knack for explaining economic concepts, cogently described why this is a future to embrace: “Free trade is the best and fastest way to increase the prosperity of both our peoples.”

History shows that free markets and greater prosperity empower people to use their God-given talents to support themselves while creating wealth. People who make more money have lower divorce rates, are less likely to suffer violent crime, and are eight times more likely to earn a college degree.

You can watch his remarks below:

 

 

(Photo credit: Shutterstock.com. Editorial use only.)

Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson is Executive Editor of the Acton Institute's flagship journal Religion & Liberty and edits its transatlantic website.