Boris Johnson, conjurer of divorce between UK and Europe

Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister and leader of the Brexiters camp.

FRANCE 5 – TUESDAY JANUARY 12 AT 8.50 P.M. – DOCUMENTARY

Walid Berrissoul and Florentin Collomp have found the perfect qualifier to designate Boris Johnson: “The illusionist. “ For a little over an hour, the director and co-author of this documentary broadcast in the box “Le monde en face” on France 5, paint the portrait of a British Prime Minister who is more of a conjurer than a political leader. . The man pays good words, wins the elections, but he struggles to follow when the double reality of Brexit and Covid-19 arises. “We were trying to answer the question: what happens when someone is elected on a lie? “, explique Walid Berrissoul.

For Boris Johnson, the answer is hardly brilliant. In early March 2020, as the pandemic spreads, he still laughs at a press conference: “I was visiting a hospital where there were Covid patients and you will be happy to know that I shook hands with everyone. “ Three weeks later, he resolves to impose general confinement, late on other European countries. Soon after, he fell seriously ill and spent three days in intensive care. He is notably cared for by two Portuguese and New Zealand nurses, the very ones who may have difficulty obtaining work visas after Brexit. Even Rachel Johnson, the Prime Minister’s full sister, is offended. “Who are the people who took care of you when you were at your worst?” People you won’t let into the country anymore. “

Giving a voice to brexiters

The film has the immense merit of not being a burden, in particular because it gives voice to the brexiters, and seeks to understand their motivations. British fishermen explain their anger to see their European competitors catching fish in their territorial waters. The owner of a café in Bishop Auckland, in the north-east of England, talks about the feeling of abandonment that haunts his region, one of the poorest in the country. A city financier, for his part, praises the merits of a vast deregulation of the markets.

But, file after file, thanks to clear explanations (Florentin Collomp was correspondent of the Figaro in the United Kingdom for eight years), the film shows the concrete difficulties of leaving the European Union.

For example, a pallet supplier laments losing the health exemption that applied in the EU: now each of its materials must be treated by passing through heating rooms for several hours, which increases costs . The concern is palpable at the Nissan car plant, which exports a large part of its production to the EU. As for the dream of a rapprochement with the Commonwealth, he annoys Swapan Dasgupta, member of the upper chamber of the Indian Parliament, who reminds this former colonial power “Force of arms, deceit and duplicity” which it has shown in the past. Finally, Boris Johnson is today at the head of a country which is cracking: Scotland dreams of independence and the North Irish rifts have awakened.

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