CNN International: Boris Johnson Could Cause U.K. to Break Up

On Thursday, CNN International and PBS aired a segment in which Christiane Amanpour and her guests fear mongered about the collapse of the United Kingdom at the hands of Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as the end of “a really great renaissance” in Britain.

Margaret MacMillan, a professor at Oxford University, stoked fears that the U.K.’s newest Prime Minister could lead to the complete breakup of the union as we know it:

I mean, Britain is very badly fractured. I mean, there's a real possibility that the United Kingdom will break up. That Scotland will now decide or the voters of Scotland will decide that they want independence. There is talk, which I never thought I’d hear in my lifetime, in Northern Ireland of possibly reuniting with the South and the Welsh, I think, are not happy being left alone with — with an English dominated union. So I think — you know, I think it's unlikely, but it is quite possible, certainly possible that United Kingdom will break up…

The notion that Boris Johnson would cause the dissolve of the U.K. is laughable at best, but it does show the media’s rabid eagerness to portray him in the same negative light at President Trump. It was only Johnson’s first day on the job, but for MacMillan, he already had single handedly led the way to the fall of the United Kingdom.

Later in the segment, New York Times writer-at-large Sarah Lyall remarked about how the Brexit movement was actually propelled by anti-Muslim and anti-“outsider” sentiment, rather than protecting the British economy. She then went on to state that Brexit has killed “a really great renaissance”:

I think it's one of the things that the Brexit campaign played on very, very effectively three years ago. I mean, they were talking about Europe, and Europeans coming in and taking British jobs, et cetera, but a lot of people in the country actually took it to mean foreigners in general. A lot of people voted for Brexit because they just don't like foreigners. They don’t want people who don’t speak English flooding in their country. They especially don't like Muslim refugees, or any refugees at all, and there was a big confusion between those two things, you know, what do we mean when we speak about Europe and outsiders? And I've been really shocked. I’ve lived in London for a long time and London was the most extraordinarily tolerant, diverse, interesting, outward looking, vibrant city, and especially with the Chunnel and all the back and forth with Europe, it seemed like a really great renaissance of openness where Britain was part of a much bigger thing than itself. It’s such a small country, and to sort of go back to being a little island seemed antithetical to what happened the whole time I had lived here.

This display is a stark reminder that the permeation of liberal bias isn’t limited to American media. Consumers of the news around the world need to view their respective outlets with a healthy amount of skepticism.

Here is the relevant portions of the transcript from Thursday’s airing of CNN International:

CNN International/PBS’s Amanpour and Company
07/25/2019
11:51 p.m. Eastern

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: I guess, Margaret, will it be a golden age, this period? And is the — is the comparison with Churchill valid?

MARGARET MACMILLAN [PROFESSOR AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY]: I would like to think it would will a golden age, but I just don't see how it can be. I mean, Britain is very badly fractured. I mean, there's a real possibility that the United Kingdom will break up. That Scotland will now decide or the voters of Scotland will decide that they want independence. There is talk, which I never thought I’d hear in my lifetime, in Northern Ireland of possibly reuniting with the South and the Welsh, I think, are not happy being left alone with — with an English dominated union. So I think — you know, I think it's unlikely, but it is quite possible, certainly possible that United Kingdom will break up, and I don't think Boris Johnson is like Churchill. I mean, when Churchill came into office in 1940 as prime minister, he had an enormous amount of experience. He’d been colonial secretary. He’d been defense secretary. He understood how Parliament worked. He understood a great deal about the world, and he came in at a time when people right across the political spectrum were prepared to support him. I mean, he had Labor support. He had Liberal support. He had Conservative support and Boris Johnson doesn't have that. I mean, Labor, of course, are firmly opposed to anything the Conservatives do, and the liberal Democrats are certainly not going to support Brexit, and so I think it's a very different situation. I mean, Boris Johnson is talking about giving the British confidence, but I think they need to look at the hand they've actually got to play, and the idea that the European Union are going to turn around and say, “look, we’d really like to make a deal with you if you decide to leave,” seems to be highly improbable. I mean, one of the things that's happened in the past two years is that the European Union have managed to hold together very well, indeed, and they have managed to negotiate very successfully, indeed, and I don't see any signs that they are going to budge. So, you know, I wish Britain well, and I wouldn’t like to see the United Kingdom breakup, but I'm not sure that the prospects for a golden age are really there at the moment. Things may change. A lot can change in two years, but it doesn’t look good at the moment.

(....)

11:58 p.m. Eastern

AMANPOUR: You know, it's hard perhaps even to remember the sort of gravitas of Prime Ministers like Gordon Brown and others who proceeded him, but he was in the studio this week and he talked about these two competing visions of — of Britain that are now in play. Let's just play what he told me:

GORDON BROWN [on 07/22/19]: There are two views of Britain competing with each other, and there's my view of Britain that we are a tolerant, outward looking, decent minded, and pragmatic nation, and it's the view that I think most people around the world have taken of Britain over these years. We're empirical, irrational, and getting on making things work, but then there is this other view that is in sense a product of the loss of empire. It’s a product of Britain's Parliament sort of declined in status, that we are inward looking, that we talk about standing alone all the time. The Dunkirk spirit. Britain is stronger when it's detached from its neighbors and, doesn’t enter in foreign entanglements, in Europe in particular.

AMANPOUR: Sarah, reflect on that because you're a long-time London — British correspondent for The New York Times, and you wrote a book Anglo Files, reflect on those competing visions and where we are now.

SARAH LYALL: I think that’s really interesting. I think it's one of the things that the Brexit campaign played on very, very effectively three years ago. I mean, they were talking about Europe, and Europeans coming in and taking British jobs, et cetera, but a lot of people in the country actually took it to mean foreigners in general. A lot of people voted for Brexit because they just don't like foreigners. They don’t want people who don’t speak English flooding in their country. They especially don't like Muslim refugees, or any refugees at all, and there was a big confusion between those two things, you know, what do we mean when we speak about Europe and outsiders? And I've been really shocked. I’ve lived in London for a long time and London was the most extraordinarily tolerant, diverse, interesting, outward looking, vibrant city, and especially with the Chunnel and all the back and forth with Europe, it seemed like a really great renaissance of openness where Britain was part of a much bigger thing than itself. It’s such a small country, and to sort of go back to being a little island seemed antithetical to what happened the whole time I had lived here.

NB Daily Britain PBS Amanpour Christiane Amanpour

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