“The Ukrainians will not accept a frozen conflict in which the Tsar can continue to threaten more violence and aggression,” the British prime minister said. We must return to the border before February 24.” “We will always provide security support to Europe.” The economic crisis and the costs of Britain’s exit from the European Union? “We’re doing better independently, and we’ll be back on top of the growth chart in two or three years. And I will be the one who leads the party to victory in the next elections.”
from our reporter
LONDON – “Nice to meet you, Boris!”: Johnson introduces himself, a little disheveled as always, at the appointment in Downing Street for an interview with courier (Co-authored with the Spanish newspaper El Mundoin French Le Monde And for German Suddeutsche Zeitung). The Prime Minister takes his place under a large portrait of Margaret Thatcherin what was formerly the private office of the Iron Lady, for a tour of the horizon On the eve of the G7 summits in Germany and NATO in Madrid. Obviously the focus war in ukraine And the Johnson’s message to allies is clear: Now is not the time to stop.
Prime Minister, differences emerge among the Western allies regarding the ongoing conflict: Are you afraid of having European countries pushing for a very fast negotiated solution?
there Fatigue risk in Ukraine , c
‘he is The danger of people failing to see that this is a vital battle for our values, for the world. Energy costs, driving inflation and food prices affect people’s resilience – but this does not affect the UK’s resilience. We believe we must help Ukrainians gain strategic flexibility: they must keep moving forward. But we can’t be more Ukrainian than the Ukrainians, it’s their crisis, they have to decide what they want to do. But quite obviously, if you go there and talk with the Ukrainians, with Zelensky, that They will not give up lands for peace and they will not make a bad deal. They do not want to be forced into negotiations, nor will they agree to a frozen conflict in which Putin can continue to threaten more violence and aggression. Ukrainian territory must be restored, at least in the borders before February 24, the sovereignty and security of Ukraine must be protected. So yes, there is burnout, but it’s something we have to face, we have to keep making the case with our electorate. But I find that the unity of the West is much more evident than the divisions. The future of the world depends on maintaining a strong and solid position on Ukraine: What we have to do is work together as Europeans to avoid what I think would be disaster, or bad peace in Ukraine, forcing Ukrainians to accept terms that should be anathema to Europeans.
She keeps saying that Putin must fail: but what is the end of this war?
When we say that Putin must fail, we are not referring to events in Moscow or Russian politics: this is not my goal, we must be clear. What I mean is that we need to at least get back to the status quo before February 24th – that’s what I mean by failure.. This means that his forces were expelled from the areas of Ukraine that he had invaded so far.
The question is: How does this happen?
At this point, the conflict could go one way or the other. I think it is appropriate, in the coming months, to help Ukrainians change the dynamics of the situation: And this is what I will suggest to the leaders of the Group of Seven and NATO. This is not the time to maintain the status quo, this is the time to try to turn things around. As long as the Ukrainians are able to counterattack, they must be supported with the equipment they demand from us.
The Pope said that Russia was provoked by NATO: Do you agree or is the Pope infallible?
(Johnson explodes in big laughter here.) Leaving aside the opinions of His Holiness, which I will respectfully put in a corner, I think it has always been reasonable for NATO to follow an open door policy. NATO is a peaceful alliance, protecting, not aggressive. Places like Poland or the Baltic states have long memories of attacks from both directions and I think they have a right to ask for solidarity.
French President Macron proposed a European architecture in which Britain could fit into an external circle. Does he agree, perhaps within a defensive and security structure?
The UK’s role is to support Europe and we will always continue to do so, we have done so for over a century: We will always provide support regarding safety. We see our role as guarantor and supporter of Europe: Perhaps we are no longer in the architecture of the cathedral, in the cathedral, but we are a flying buttress, a beautiful extravagant piece of architecture, which supports from the outside. What we want to do is support European security and prosperity, and we see that as an integral part of our own security and prosperity.
Your choice to rewrite post-Brexit agreements on Northern Ireland has sparked anger and alarm among European allies, with the risk of undermining unity over Ukraine as well.
What I’ve noticed so far is how mild the reactions are all around. What we’re trying to do is find a bureaucratic solution to the bureaucratic problems: the general tone of discussion so far has been very pragmatic, and I think there is a way forward. The highest legal obligation of our country is the peace and stability of Northern Ireland: For the time being, the balance between the two different traditions of Northern Ireland must be maintained: What we would ask for are some fairly reasonable bureaucratic adjustments.
Speaking of Brexit, can he even point to one advantage, given that this year Britain will experience the lowest growth rate among the developed countries?
One of the reasons we had the strongest growth in G7 last year and returned to the fastest growth is that we had the fastest vaccination schedule. And that’s because we were able to license our vaccine without going to the European Medicines Agency, which we left. That’s why we were faster and we were the first country to inject people with an approved vaccine – it’s not something the British public hasn’t noticed. We were also able to attract investments by taking advantage of our tax advantages, we cut VAT on solar panels, which we couldn’t do before, we cut VAT on women’s healthcare products, we can move away from European rules on data protection Because we have a completely different approach. We have been able to break away from the CAP and support our farmers in different ways. We have concluded about 70 free trade agreements around the world.
However, the inflation rate is close to 11 percent annually.
Well, we have a certain problem caused by our energy mix, but We also have a full labor market: there is excess demand in this economy. But if we look at the forecasts of the OECD and the IMF, we will go back to the top growth chart in the next two or three years. And if you ask me why, I’d like to remind you that thanks to some of the things we’ve done, we’ve managed to attract more investments in technology than France, Germany and Israel combined. I remember the economic crises in which millions of unemployed…
In fact, newspapers wrote that it appears to be back in the 1970s…
I remember the crises of the ’80s and ’90s, they had millions of people out of work, and now we have youth unemployment at an all-time low – that’s because we have the budget power to support people the way we did. We want to have the friendliest relationship with our European friends, but we’ll continue to do things differently where we think it’s reasonable..
Your policy of deporting migrants who have reached asylum in Rwanda has drawn criticism: Is it illegal to seek asylum in Britain?
not at all. We have safe and legal ways for those who want to come here. The UK welcomes huge numbers of people who come to this country because they fear for their lives. We took about 100,000 Chinese from Hong Kong, at least 15,000 Afghans, several thousand from Syria and gave 120,000 visas to Ukrainians. Under my government, we’ve had more people fleeing to this country than at any time since 2015 – and I’m proud of that. We will continue to be a country that welcomes a large number of people from abroad. London is by far the most diverse city in Europe, 40 per cent of Londoners are born abroad: in this respect it is like New York and I am proud of it. We will continue to welcome talent. But What we are trying to do is to put an end to a particular problem, which is the trafficking of vulnerable people through the channel In unreliable boats life threatening. I don’t think this is something a civilized country should allow to happen. We are trying to break the human traffickers business model.
If the Parliamentary Inquiry into Partygate determines that you misled Parliament, would you resign?
My plan is to lead the party to victory in the next election: you can assure readers of that. I am sure we will win the next election.
Jun 22 2022 (change on Jun 22 2022 | 20:01)
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