Hands up. I’m hoping – probably against hope – that whatever Boris is and has been working on this week will be the key that unlocks the door to Brexit and opens up the pathway to all of the opportunities that lie behind.
Whilst it might be better for us all if we were to find ourselves with a completely new Withdrawal Agreement written on virgin paper with a brand new pen in about a weeks time, it was and always will be inevitable that at least some of the content of any Withdrawal Agreement with the EU is going to echo that of Theresa May’s.
But echoing and meaning are not necessarily the same things. And it is the hope that the two key differences – being able to walk away From the EU at any point and not selling out Northern Ireland – that would be the defining differences and the clear blue water that distinguishes whatever Boris comes to Parliament with in a weeks time with that cooked up by Mrs May.
My concern today – especially as Boris has been making so many noises about flawed ideologies such as the One Nation Conservatives project – or what I call the old politics – that the corner he has been backed into by the miscreants in Parliament has left him as little more than a frightened rabbit in the headlights, ready to leap backwards and use every trick that defined the rotten politics that created Brexit in the first place, simply to get out and save his own neck.
The more polite amongst the opinionati call what might now be coming In the next few days a fudge.
But the EU are time-served masters at publicly manipulative choreography and we should all be concerned that the way things suddenly seem to be coming together at the 11th hour for Boris might turn out to be more along the lines of the Theresa May in bed with the EU era and what came before it, rather than Boris leading us out to be a fully Independent and Sovereign UK as he has promised.
You can’t polish a turd. But you can roll it in glitter. And if Boris is now telling us that he has a deal cooking with the EU that doesn’t cross our red lines when it actually turns out that it does, the new Prime Minister will have defined himself not by being a leader in his own right, but by simply being no better than the sell-out PMs that have been in office since Thatcher before him.
May’s Withdrawal Agreement was a travesty.
Not because it contained technical proposals that were dubious from the start.
But because it simply tied the UK in to a situation where we could never just walk away whenever we decided. So in terms of our ability to negotiate sensible, fair or indeed favourable terms with the EU, we would in practice never have been equipped with the legal devices necessary to achieve anything other than the same results as if we had overtly Remained as a Member State within.
So whilst the situation of leaving with any deal would feel far from perfect to a great many of us, particularly as it is not the outcome of the binary choice we voted for, any deal that ultimately allows a future UK government to walk away from the EU without any ties or obligations to it and with the UK left fully in tact is not only a sensible compromise but realistically with today’s structure in Parliament, the only realistic choice – provided that is what it genuinely turns out to be.
If Boris offers this option and it is refused, there is little doubt that in the circumstances he will have done all that he can with the responsibility he has been given.
But if it turns out that he really is on the verge of trying to pull yet another political fast one, we should start perhaps start weeping for this Country. Because the point will have been well and truly made that none of our politicians can be trusted and that they are all exactly the same.