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Brexit: This time the United Kingdom may go over the top

David Frost and the Brexit ultras cannot accept they are wrong on single market and NI.
In the last two years the United Kingdom has signed two treaties with the European Union, the withdrawal agreement containing the Northern Ireland protocol, and a trade and co-operation agreement. It is worth recalling this because to listen to the government would give the impression it faces a deeply hostile EU which wants nothing more than to see Brexit fail economically and Northern Ireland suffer most.


Equally it suggests that its negotiating tactics remain the same. If the UK speaks a bit more clearly, sends some more legal text, makes a few more threats, that the EU will finally see reason; it will realise borders are not required for goods going from Great Britain to the EU via Ireland, and the single market will be protected all the same.

It is often stated that Britain has not got over victory in the second World War, but these tactics are more suggestive of the first World War: once more over the top and this time it will be different. And, so far, with the same lack of success. But this time, or at least some time, it will be successful, for anything other than Northern Ireland fully Brexiting on the same basis as the rest of the country will always be a problem to Frost.

Now it may seem incredible that the UK government has not enhanced its understanding of Brexit in 5½ years. Some think that it must be deliberate, an attempt to undermine the EU or Belfast Agreement. Yet, a close reading of actions and words suggests it's more a case of genuine belief.

Most prominent in this regard is Frost's constant underplaying of the risks to the single market to support the argument that a light touch regulatory approach cannot be a threat. In the latest speech he suggests the UK will never check imported products as the EU does, as if this issue is simply unimportant.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 14th, 2021 at 11:34:58 AM EST

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