So, Britsh Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in the Intensive Care Unit as he battles the COVID-19 infection. I’m sure all people of goodwill, no matter what their political leanings, will all wish him well. His Foreign Secretary and unofficial deputy Dominic Raab has assumed day-to-day control of the British government. Mr Raab, a lawyer, is described as “a staunch Bexiteer” and was a competitor with Johnson for the Conservative Pary leadership.
While coping with the virus is, of course, dominating the agendas of governments everywhere, there are still issues, in Britain and Europe, that require attention and negotiations.
I hope that Prime Minister Trudeau has contacted Mr Raab and I also hope that Canada’s trade minister, Mary Ng (one of only a small handful of ministers in the Trudeau regime who seems to have actually read and understood her file), is in close contact with her British counterpart, Liz Truss, because, in a few months Britain will have to be making trade deals with countries outside of Europe and Australia and Canada will want to make better deals than the one offered to the USA.
Britain is no longer a great power. But it is an important nation, a nuclear-armed state, with the 6th largest economy in the world, behind the USA, China, Japan, Germany and India, but bigger than France, Italy, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Australia. Canada wants and needs to have a good, mutually beneficial free-trade with it.
But, for the moment, we should all wish Prime Minister Johnson (and his companion, Carrie Symonds and, indeed, everyone who is battling the virus) a full and speedy recovery and we should, equally, wish Dominic Rabb well as he shoulders an additional, heavier burden.