This week Boris Johnson is expected to head off on holiday with fiancée Carrie Symonds and their four-month-old son Wilfred. The Prime Minister is staying in the UK, with reports he is planning a camping trip in Scotland.
For a few days, Mr Johnson need worry about nothing more complex than avoiding the midges. But when he returns to Downing Street, he will be met with a bulging in-tray – and back benches filled with restive Tory MPs.
Tackling the pandemic
Continuing to control the rate of Covid-19 infections will underpin every other aspect of the Government’s agenda. So far the UK has seen a small increase in case numbers, compared to much greater spikes across other European countries.
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The NHS has been promised greater funding to prepare for winter, with flu vaccinations rolled out wider than usual in a bid to avoid putting further pressure on the health service. Fixing the gaps in the existing Test and Trace system will be crucial, with ministers hopeful that the imminent relaunch of the NHS app goes better than the botched first attempt.
After having to cancel plans to get all English pupils back into the classroom before the summer holidays, the Prime Minister has emphasised his comment to reopening schools in full for the new term.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is unlikely to survive in his job if there are any serious hitches, following the furore over the downgrading of thousands of students’ exam results last week.
Duelling envoys David Frost and Michel Barnier have set September as the informal deadline for reaching an outline agreement on a post-Brexit trade deal, but EU deadlines have a habit of slipping.
If they fail to strike a deal, the Government must quickly implement contingency plans to spare British firms from chaos while trying to do business with Europe. Even with a deal, there may still be significant disruption when the standstill transition period ends on 31 December.
The economic effects of the pandemic are becoming ever clearer, with unemployment likely to rise as the furlough scheme comes to an end. Encouraging the economic recovery could crowd out other plans, such as Whitehall reform and a shake-up of the Foreign Office.
Rishi Sunak is planning a Budget and comprehensive spending review for the autumn – but may end up postponing long-term decisions until next year, when the full extent of the recession is known.