An Austrian newspaper took aim at Boris Johnson’s so-called ‘Brexit wins’ this week – saying the prime minister’s track record on leaving the single market “should be in a satirical magazine”.
Johnson hailed returning crown stamps to pint glasses and getting rid of a ban on selling goods in pounds and ounces as among the “key successes” of Brexit in his New Year’s message.
He claimed the UK had “used Brexit freedoms” to create a new immigration system and strike trade deals around the world with countries like Australia, despite the trade deal being expected to add just 0.02 per cent to the size of the UK economy over 15 years.
The prime minister also said Brexit had helped ensure the success of the UK’s vaccine rollout.
“We’ve replaced free movement with a points-based immigration system. We’ve secured the fastest vaccine rollout anywhere in Europe last year by avoiding sluggish EU processes. And from Singapore to Switzerland, we’ve negotiated ambitious free trade deals to boost jobs and investment here at home,” he said.
“But that’s not all. From simplifying the EU’s mind-bogglingly complex beer and wine duties to proudly restoring the crown stamp on to the side of pint glasses, we’re cutting back on EU red tape and bureaucracy and restoring common sense to our rulebook.”
Writing in Austria’s Der Standard, Sebastian Borger said anyone who hears and reads the announcements of the British government on Brexit can never be entirely sure: “Are the adult representatives of the sixth-largest economic power in the world speaking here – or is it more about the boasting of stupid thugs?”
He continued that it was like that when foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt compared the EU to a “prison” and when David Frost, the now resigned chief Brexit negotiator, spoke of Britain’s 47-year membership of the EU as a “long bad dream”.
Since leaving, Johnson now boasts that his government has lifted “the ban” on selling goods in pounds instead of kilos, Borger said.
“Johnson also thinks it is great that the pint glasses now have a royal crown again.
“Hopefully this grand achievement will comfort all those Brits who drown their sorrows in the pub about the stupidity of their government.”