Brexit to exit: The rise and fall of Boris Johnson
Indy

"Get Brexit done," barked Boris Johnson as he campaigned to be the nation's prime minister in 2019, and on 31 January 2020 that's what he did - sort of - as we formally left the European Union.

Three years later he stood outside Number 10, announced he was going to resign, but said he was "proud" of his "achievements" in government. Like "getting Brexit done", for one.

So why is Penny Mordaunt campaigning to replace him and pledging to "get Brexit re-done"? Why is Rishi Sunak pledging to scrap so-called red tape from the EU?

After all, isn't Brexit "done"?

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Not really.


If you consider that Jacob Rees-Mogg has a job literally called minister for Brexit opportunities you may think not. Because if something is "done" - past tense, complete, why is a government department seeking out ways to make it function better?

Then there is the small matter of Northern Ireland and the government trying to tamper with a 2019 deal to prevent a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

Trade figures show Brexit has been pretty damaging, so there is that to sort out too. And then there are traffic jams in Dover which can be partly attributed to post-Brexit bureaucracy, there were supply chain pressures last summer which were exacerbated by post-Brexit immigration policies making it harder for workers to enter the UK, and a Sainsbury's boss blamed rising food prices on the policy.

Yes, we've left the EU. We have new passports and we have to shuffle through a different queue at airports. But the above problems are a consequence of getting Brexit "done" and now they need to be "done" too for the country to find a rhythm detached from the continent.

So, saying Brexit is "done" is probably a bit silly. Just like most of the stuff that comes out of Johnson's mouth. Who's surprised?

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