In a strange turn of events, Boris Johnson has made an appeal to European workers, saying “we want you back” and letting them know that the UK welcomes their labour.
THE UK is the European country which has been worst affected by the coronavirus crisis and his management of the pandemic is beginning to cause a rupture in his public image. He has been critiqued by both the opposing Labour party and members of his own Conservative camp.
Despite being the country with the most deaths (almost 40,000) and having recorded an additional 1,800 cases this week, Boris Johnson is determined to reactivate the British economy as quickly as possible.
This Wednesday, during a press conference, Johnson was asked by an Italian reporter about the impact of quarantine on European workers and the answer from the prime minister was an appeal for them to return to the United Kingdom.
Johnson even expressed his welcome in Italian as he said: “What I would say to our dear Italian friends, Italians who have been living and working in the UK and now would like to come back, I say come back. Tutti Benvenuti.”
“We want you back,” exclaimed Johnson, however, he reminded that in the case they do come back, they would need to ensure they hold the mandatory quarantine. This is a change of tone for Johnson, who has been dead set on his immigration policies during these years.
There is a clash between strategies in the UK as certain ministries demand speed in order to recover the economic losses incurred by the crisis which is contrasted by the scientific advisors who warn that a premature flight will risk another wave of the virus.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland remained aligned with the central governments’ strategy during the first weeks of the pandemic, despite having powers to design their own measures, however, they deserted Johnson when he announced the reopening of schools, due to materialise on June 1 which will now only happen in England.
There have also been doubts raised by the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) who have warned of the dangerous risk of an upturn in Covid-19 cases in the autumn season.
“We have relatively high numbers that are not declining rapidly yet. That gives us very little room to manoeuvre. We must be very cautious,” said the chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance.