My dog has more liberty than I do.

The world has barely started to recover from the Covid crisis, with Brexit talks hit as badly as anything else. But Boris Johnson is sticking to his original timetable, says James Forsyth, and may even accelerate it. The Prime Minister will decide next month whether the UK will leave the EU without a trade deal: the logic is that, if the world’s trading links lie in ruins, it’s best that Britain rebuilds for a global future. If there is to be rupture, it would have far less impact now than later. Rod Liddle is glad that the country isn’t rushing to lift the lockdown – unlike Melvyn Bragg, who says in his diary that it is an outrageous attack on freedom: ‘My dog,’ he writes, ‘has more liberty than I do.’ But don’t we all turn into animals in captivity, asks Mary Wakefield: garden eels, perhaps, or pygmy goats? In her isolation column, the author Susan Hill says she’ll miss the clear air and birdsong as lockdown winds down. But there’s still plenty of time to read magazines, of course. I hope you enjoy this issue.

Fraser Nelson, Editor