While coronavirus will remain the world’s first issue for months or years to come, it is no longer the only issue.
After that the coronavirus struck. The kind of global event that once was a generation that makes even Brexit look like a minority.
Many areas have been added to the government’s coronavirus testing list – now including Leeds, Middlesbrough, South Tyneside, Corby and Kettering.
But the Department of Health says today nationwide R-number – measuring how fast the virus is spreading – remains unchanged
Is the UK heading to the second peak?
More than 40,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the UK, millions of children have been out of school for months and we will face the economic impact for decades.
Needless to say, this is not the way Boris Johnson expected his expert to be described.
But this week, as parliament returns after the summer recess, some of the political priorities are starting to drag.
While coronavirus will be — of course — remains the world’s first question in the coming months (years?), It is no longer the only issue.
Sunday returns this weekend after the August break, and there are a few surprising political issues that I am determined to get under.
The full economic impact of COVID-19 is beginning to strike. Prior to the crisis, the government had expected to borrow £ 55bn for the full financial year. It ended up borrowing £ 128bn in the first three months alone.
How will this be paid for? In the election, Johnson described himself as a troublemaker – as a new type of Conservative politician who was very different from the era of David Cameron, George Osborne and Philip Hammond.
With debt levels so high, is this reasonable?
Will Johnson raise taxes on the wealthy instead? That may go down well with the Red Wall seats he won in Labor in December, but will his team swallow it?
He owns a large palace that seats 80 people, but taxing will put even that under pressure.
Number 10 is determined to focus on the agenda they promised in the December elections: bringing Brexit and uplifting the country away from London for the benefit of the people in positions held by the workers who gave the Conservatives their votes.
But things may not be as they expected it to be. With the economy on its knees, local restrictions so common and public mobility dictated by school closures, Johnson will need more than harsh language and a hard hat if he wants to uplift the country.
Also, it sounds like the chances of getting a Brexit trade agreement with the EU are slim in the summer.
The deadline is fast approaching, and disagreements over government subsidies and fishing are still being resolved.
While Theresa May says she is willing to go without a contract (“There is no better deal than a bad contract”) few believe she will. And Johnson, however, would not bet against it.
To make matters worse, the SNP is gaining momentum over the second liberation movement – they do not believe that in this case, they will succeed.
Johnson – a man who always looks at history books – does not want his position as prime minister to be remembered only for his response to COVID-19.
But – so both the economy and the union on weak ground – have to be careful what you wish for.