Parliament, Westminster wits like to say, has been the longest-running farce in the West End. With theatres still unable to reopen, some might feel it was awfully selfless of their political representatives to use the recess to take their show on tour.
For weeks, ministers have performed constant U-turns, whether it be over the necessity of wearing facemasks in schools or if the country’s schoolchildren deserved to have their academic fortunes rely on the whims of an officially approved algorithm.
Boris Johnson will be striving to steady the ship over the coming days by ensuring his Education Secretary, under the pain of having his last chance to justify his job, gets the nation’s schoolchildren back to their desks. Then he’ll have to get to grips with a variety of related issues, like how best to get the nation back to their workplace, lest city centres wither away due to the continued necessity of home-working.
And of course, the Prime Minister cannot get away from Brexit, a matter I’ve been keeping a beady eye on as negotiators have failed to secure a deal after seven rounds of talks. Such a stalemate will require Mr Johnson to wade in to see how best the sticking points can be resolved, or if they are beyond repair. If a trade deal cannot be cobbled together, then the UK will have no choice but to leave the EU without a deal at the end of this year.
Given the packed in-tray the Prime Minister faces on his return, part of him must wish he could hightail it back to the Scottish Isles for a longer break in his tent. Readers can make sure to follow him as he returns to Westminster to wade through this political morass every step of the way with our sharp reporting and ever-insightful commentary pulling out what you need to know.
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Asa Bennett, Brexit Commissioning Editor