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It now becomes a question of whether Angela Merkel and other key leaders are prepared to throw Ireland under a bus and agree to drop the "Irish Backstop" from the Withdrawal agreement in order to facilitate "an orderly Brexit", or will they maintain solidarity with the member state most effected by Brexit?
So the question is whether the EU decides to let no deal happen in solidarity with Ireland or it negotiates a deal with a British PM whose red lines include breaking the single market on the island of Ireland.
A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
In fact Trump will probably declare war with Iran before any of this happens, making Brexit itself a forgotten footnote in the global war that follows.
(No, I'm not in a positive mood today. Thanks for asking.)
Stop pretending there are concessions that can be made to those mendacious idiots. Stop pretending they're acting in good faith.
So if, for example, Johnson decides to ditch the DUP and make the backstop Northern Ireland only, everyone bar the DUP and a v. few hard core British unionists are happy - and the deal is even better from an Irish/EU perspective as they were never happy to guarantee the UK cost free access to the Single Market and Customs Union in the first place.
If the DUP do decide to press the nuclear button (at the risk of putting Corbyn in power) Johnson can campaign on the basis of a new improved deal which no longer keeps GB tied to the EU indefinitely. Everybody suddenly thinks the other 699 pages of the agreement are great, breaths a sigh of relief that no deal has been averted, and gives Johnson an electoral endorsement if the Telegraph's opinion poll is to be believed.
Obviously the Brexit party will campaign on the basis that the other 699 pages aren't great either and so it will become a no deal versus Johnson's deal debate with Labour and Remainers sidelined. Johnson will seek to capture the "reasonable" centre ground and campaign on the basis that his deal will allow the UK negotiate its own trade deals and control immigration.
Corbyn will find it hard to differentiate himself from that position because in practice Labour differences with that are small and relate to the yet to be negotiated future relationship part of the deal. Johnson can fob off those concerns by promising to negotiate a pony for everyone in the next phase. And many will believe him...
Index of Frank's Diaries
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