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Guardian - Simon Jenkins - Northern Ireland is the loser in Boris Johnston badly played brexit hand"

This year, Boris Johnson craved the titles of champion of Cop26 and star of G7. He saw something called "global Britain" and hoped it would crown his Brexit triumph, leading the world into a new age of peace and prosperity like a 21st-century Churchill. Instead, Johnson now finds himself in a morass of sleazy MPs, dodgy peers and Covid contracts. More seriously, he is about to plunge once more into the messy issue of the Irish border. His Northern Ireland Brexit protocol was supposed to liberate him from such torments, yet it has bound him hand and foot.

Two years ago, Johnson lied to unionists, telling worried exporters in Northern Ireland there would be no need to fill in extra paperwork when sending goods across the Irish Sea. He now wants to keep face by ditching the protocol altogether and presenting the EU with what amounts to a clear crisis: a permeable border drawn around the whole of Northern Ireland, which he knows is unacceptable to Brussels.

Johnson conducts his politics like a poker player who constantly raises the stakes while showing his opponents his cards. When politicians take control of trade negotiations, it usually means trouble. After the UK left the EU, the job of reordering its markets, customs and tariffs should have been left to officials and mediators. Devising a practical deal would have been in everyone's interest. It was madness that no agreement was reached.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 11th, 2021 at 09:02:38 PM EST

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