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Johnson's breaking of Brexit pledge is smart-arse duplicity
But this is where the real fakery starts. It is clear that Johnson and his most important confreres, Dominic Cummings and Michael Gove, never really saw this ["border in the Irish Sea"] as anything other than a clever dodge, a tactical retreat. On his blog in March 2019, when May was in power, Cummings addressed "dear Vote Leave activists: don't worry about the so-called `permanent' commitments this historically abysmal Cabinet are trying to make on our behalf. They are not `permanent' and a serious government - one not cowed by officials and their bullshit `legal advice' with which they have herded ministers like sheep - will dispense with these commitments."

In May, former chairman of the European Research Group Steve Baker wrote in the Critic that Cummings "said we should vote for the original withdrawal agreement without reading it, on the basis Michael Gove articulated: we could change it later". This had indeed been Gove's line since December 2017: "If the British people dislike the agreement that we have negotiated with the EU, the agreement will allow a future government to diverge."

This idea that Britain could sign the withdrawal agreement with its fingers crossed behind its back and then just ignore it later on is, in a way, perfectly consistent with the larger mentality of Brexit. At the heart of its theology is the fantasy that there is such a thing as absolute national sovereignty, a complete unilateral freedom of action that had been taken away by EU membership. Once Britain is "unchained" from the EU, Britain can do whatever it damn well pleases. The withdrawal treaty is not a set of permanent obligations, merely a route towards the obligation-free future that starts on January 1st, 2021.

The Brexiteers don't much mind that this trick requires Britain to expose itself openly as a rogue state that treats international agreements as disposable handkerchiefs. In their solipsism, they presumably haven't bothered to look up, for example, the membership of the House ways and means committee that would control any trade deal Britain might make with the US. (To save them the bother, it's chaired by Richard Neal, and includes his fellow Irish-American Democrats Brendan Boyle and Brian Higgins, all highly engaged with Northern Ireland.)

The catch is that all of this doesn't stop at smart-arse duplicity towards other countries. It involves the flagrant deception of English voters. More perhaps than any modern election, Johnson's campaign in December was reduced to a single issue and three words: Get Brexit Done. This was to be achieved by electing a parliament that was absolutely committed to passing the "oven-ready" and "excellent" withdrawal agreement.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 11th, 2020 at 09:47:00 AM EST
It is difficult to imagine a more screwed up situation than the one the US is currently in, but the UK is doing a good job of showing how to get there.
by asdf on Sat Sep 12th, 2020 at 04:07:06 PM EST
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I've been reading about the hundred year war. Seeing this current fuckup unfold, I'm more convinced that history is not made by 'great men' as Johnson likes to think. The big turns in history are just strings of disasters perpetuated by fallible humans who act like idiots - sometimes they are idiots.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sun Sep 13th, 2020 at 08:11:14 PM EST
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