The coronavirus crisis means No 10 can no longer fight the battles it craves | Gaby Hinsliff

The situation is too serious for Johnson and Cummings’ personal vendettas and destructive tendencies to continue

When the weather changes in politics, it changes fast. It’s only a few weeks since Brexit was the biggest peacetime challenge in a generation, a task so huge many wondered if Boris Johnson could pull it off, but now it’s no longer even the most pressing problem on his list.

As of this week, his government is at war not only with coronavirus but with some of its own civil servants; the BBC; swaths of businesses opposed to Brexit; and possibly soon the judiciary, depending on the outcome of a review led by the new attorney general, Suella Braverman. All while trying to deliver a trade deal with Europe on a timetable that many in Brussels already thought was impossible. Get either the first or the last of those wrong, and the worst-case scenario is a 2008-style economic crash, not to mention the potential loss of life in a pandemic. Get both of them wrong, and the consequences don’t bear thinking about.

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