He sometimes appeared, in the shadows, of bis Prime Minister. Dominic Cummings, special adviser to Boris Johnson and architect of the Brexit campaign, left his post with the head of government on Friday. He was seen and photographed in the evening, a box in his arms, leaving 10 Downing Street. While he was due to leave before the end of the year, a government source confirmed that he would no longer be officially employed from “mid-December”.
His departure due to internal struggles was preceded on Wednesday by that of his ally Lee Cain, communications manager for the Prime Minister, a victim of the same power struggles. According to the BBC, the appointment of the latter as chief of staff had encountered opposition from Conservative MPs but also Boris Johnson’s fiancée, Carrie Symmonds.
Both represented the hard wing of the Brexiters, ready for a no-deal exit from the European Union. Their departure comes during the home stretch of negotiations between London and Brussels in an attempt to reach an agreement on their future trade relations after December 31.
Appointed in July 2019 when Boris Johnson came to power, Dominic Cummings had made many enemies, including in the conservative camp. He played an important role in his victory in the early December legislative elections, won handily by the Conservative prime minister.
The considerable weight he has taken with the latter, his combative approach and his desire to want to control everything, according to the press, have led to a climate of permanent tension within the executive and the conservatives. Eager to reshape the civil service, he is suspected of having been behind a series of sackings of ministerial assistants, accused of not defending the Brexit cause enough vigorously.
“Advisors come and go,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on Sky News on Friday morning. “He will be missed, but we’re moving into a different phase,” Brexit and the massive test rollout during the pandemic, which Mr Cummings helped put in place, touching on purpose. “In all governments, you need people who shake things up and come up with ideas, that’s what it has been,” he added.
The final sprint to close a deal
These upheavals at the heart of power come as the United Kingdom and the European Union have embarked on a final sprint of negotiations in an attempt to reach a trade deal before the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31.
A “no deal” at the end of this period, during which European rules continue to apply, would involve the reestablishment of customs duties and quotas between London and the 27, potentially damaging to economies already weakened by the pandemic. .
According to The Times daily, Boris Johnson wishes to resume a peaceful dialogue with Conservative MPs and adopt a “less dogmatic” approach to the European Union. Some also see it as an attempt to moderate his line after the election of new US President Joe Biden, pro-European.
“It is simply false,” responded a spokesman for Boris Johnson. “The government’s position […] is unchanged, ”he said, adding that he wanted an agreement that“ fully respects the sovereignty of the United Kingdom ”.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr