Home > Brexit, Europe, National Politics > Being Boris alone was never going to be enough to get a deal with the EU where for anyone else there never was going to be one

Being Boris alone was never going to be enough to get a deal with the EU where for anyone else there never was going to be one

images-2We’ve been watching the malaise take hold and the chaos take over in Parliament now over a course of many months.

There have been innumerable opportunities for the Government, the Official Opposition and the current quasi-government-Remain-collective to go a different way.

But they have not.

When it came to Boris’ appointment as Prime Minister in late July, the reality is that events leading to that point gave him only a choice to go one of two ways.

Boris could have chosen to immediately take every step necessary to facilitate a General Election and use the opportunity not only to reengage but effectively re-enfranchise the Electorate with the world of politics as he did so. Or take the alternative pathway which was to choose to do what he has done.

Focusing on the UK position rather than engaging or seeking to proactively engage the EU in any way before a General Election was the only way that Boris had the chance to really stack the deck of cards in his favour when it came to taking everyone with him over a ‘no deal Brexit’.

Instead he seems to have chosen bluff, bluster and possibly blunder too as he, his Ministers and entourage have repeatedly preached passages from the unwritten rules of negotiation. They suggest that they are in control of a secret process that they are so on top of that they have been open enough to make everyone including the EU aware of.

The truth is they are and have been anything but.

Whether this play by Boris was deliberate or simply unintended at the start, the lack of care and consideration for the realities that underpinned the EU’s more realistic motives for insisting on the Backstop, have made everything he has done since July look like a very impetuous and self-serving choice.

The Backstop issue has and will always be resolvable. But it will only be complicated by any attempt to avoid the realities that underpin all the concerns that people have in Ireland about a return to a hard border alongside those for a future where the Province becomes tied into any system of governance where it no longer has any form of choice.

The deal that it has been indicated Boris is about to table to the EU and therefore also the Irish, is not one that demonstrates any kind of real choice.

It really doesn’t make best use of the opportunity to keep the border open. It simply relocates the physicality of customs checks that go with any hard border to an out-of-sight, out-of-mind location – which is failing to look the issues in the eye and therefore nothing more than a politically expedient choice.

As I wrote at length on the 1st of August, the technology and therefore the opportunity exists to create a free-flowing open border.

Yes, there is hard work and real negotiation that would need to take place as well as smashing down many of the institutional shibboleths that would obstruct this kind of thinking and practicality from outside of the box as the natural choice.

It is only the lack of foresight, understanding, political will and basically the objections of individuals – like all of the MPs that we now have blocking Parliament – preventing it from being a real option that the EU might not immediately like or endorse, but would accept as a very practical solution once they know that there is no way back from the UK / EU divorce.

As we look back over the summer and as we head towards the 31st of October exit date for the UK to Leave the EU, it increasingly looks like history will tell us that Boris was just another Prime Minister who squandered the opportunity to lead us properly, simply because he took what seemed like the easy choices right at the pivotal moments when no matter how hard it was he could have simply chosen the alternative option which was to do the right thing for all of us and not just for him.

I hope to be wrong on this. But from where I view all of this now, it looks very much as if Boris believed he could achieve results where others had tried and failed, just because he is Boris. All as if the Marvel Universe is no longer fiction, and a Prime Minister with superpowers based in London is a reality that has come to pass.

 

To download the PDF version of my 1 August essay on a Border Solution please click Beating the Backstop

image thanks to telegraph.co.uk 

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