Brits will be allowed to travel to more than 15 countries this Summer. The government is set to agree a significant easing of travel restrictions, in and out of the U.K.
Large parts of Europe will be open to holidaymakers, without the need for a two week quarantine period, on arrival or return. France, Greece, Spain, Italy and Germany will be on the itinerary. Portugal is omitted, following a return to lock-down in Lisbon.
The news will be welcomed by the travel industry. Airlines and airports will receive a welcome boost to activity following the slump suffered under the Covid crisis. Matt Hancock issued a warning to all, this week. Drawing a line in the sand, visits to beaches will be banned, unless social distancing measures are maintained. Ice cream cones must be kept two meters apart, unless they are licked within a "two household size" bubble.
Liverpool FC also received a warning this week. The club could lose the Premier League title, if parties in the street continue. Snatch squads will be sent in, to retrieve the cup and return it to The Etihad, if street celebrations continue. Merseyside police issued a Section 34 Dispersal Order, following large gatherings in the area. More powers were granted as the Liver Building became the target of fireworks and flames. Social distancing guidelines were ignored as the crowd sang "You'll never walk alone, within a two meter zone".
The conflict between the people and the police has been drawn into stark contrast this week. The scenes on the Pierhead in Liverpool, the illegal raves in Manchester and the street clashes in Brixton, are a warning to government, there is little appetite for further lock-down measures. The focus has to be on getting Britain back in business and soon.
The Prime Minister has made it clear, there will be no period of austerity as activity returns. The focus will be very much on investment in transport, infrastructure and telecommunications with a green kicker. It will be a "decade of investment" and not a "decade of austerity". Infrastructure spending, will be brought forward, with an acceleration of the planning approval process. "No austerity for workers, those who paid the brunt of the pain, will not be made to pay".
Rishi Sunak, squashed hopes of an early cut to VAT or other taxes. The focus was very much of getting consumer spending back on track, without further fiscal stimulus for the moment. The Treasury will wait to assess the shape of recovery before any additional steps are taken.
The Chancellor will unveil his stimulus package in July. At the centre of the package will be a big skills agenda and a focus on the "green jobs" revolution. The Bank of England has made it clear, it is ready to step in, as the buyer of last resort, to fund the deficit spending.
So what will be the shape of the recovery? Jerome Powell at the Fed, suggested it will be a slow V , the IMF suggested this week it will be a "Whoosh". There is no doubt the recovery will be a V, it always is, or has been since serious records began in 1948. The government is taking all the right steps for recovery. If things go well, who knows, it may even be a "V with a Whoosh" ...
Man In The Shadows ... The Return from Tulsa
The President returned from Tulsa this week. The wild evening promised in Oklahoma didn't quite go as planned. Trump boasted over one million had signed up for the event. In the end, just 6,200 turned up for the trope.
The President droned on for over ninety minutes. The incoherent rant, included a ten minute plus explanation, of why he had trouble with the ramp at West Point, "It was slippery and he had leather shoes on."
Trump also explained why he had a problem, drinking water with one hand, during his speech. He had done a lot of saluting that day, his arm was tired and he didn't want to get his tie wet. Some people just do not appreciate the sacrifices, a commander in chief, has to make!
Brad Pascale, Trump's campaign manager had boasted of over one million tickets requested. It was the biggest data haul in campaign history. Mobile phone numbers were collected as part of the recruitment campaign. In the end, the additional staging for the crowd over flow was dismantled. The no shows on the day, were huge.
Trump had been trolled by the Grandma of TikTok. A lot or people who signed up, were kids using false names. Mary Jo Laup had published a video on the platform, urging people to book but not show up as a protest. The video went viral. The result was a huge success for protest and a disaster for the Trump campaign.The grandma of TikTok now works for Joe Biden.
Trump is now trailing by fourteen points in the polls. With just four months to go to the election, the campaign is in trouble. 2.4 million cases have now been identified as a result of the epidemic. The case load is rising, Trump is urging a slow down in testing as the big solution.
In Texas and Florida, the restrictions are being re imposed. Disney is postponing the opening, Apple is closing stores. New York is closing the borders to states with rising infections. Europe is closing the borders to visitors from the New World.
John Bolton's book arrived this week. It is a tough read. The President of China, had said he would like to work with Trump into the second term. Trump replied that people were saying, the two term constitutional limit should be repealed for him. Four more years may not be enough for the President. The first four years may well be enough for voters in the U.S.A., especially those on TikTok ...
That's all for this week! Have a great, safe, week-end, wash your hands, don't talk to strangers and stay in your bubbles!
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The Saturday Economist
John Ashcroft publishes the Saturday Economist. Join the mailing list for updates on the UK and World Economy.
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