London/Manchester — Boris Johnson wants to banish the “B word” from British politics at 11pm on Friday. From that point onwards, Johnson, the architect of the UK’s departure from the EU, hopes the Brexit trauma of the past four years can be replaced by a new unifying national mission: “leveling up” a country whose jagged contours of inequality were exposed in the 2016 EU referendum.

While Brexit supporters prepare for a festival of Union Flag-waving in London’s Trafalgar Square on Friday, Johnson will convene a cabinet meeting at an undisclosed venue in the North of England — a region previously regarded as terra incognita to many Conservatives, but which now looks to the new prime minister to build a fairer, more prosperous post-Brexit Britain.

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