When I heard on Monday that Boris Johnson’s latest idea aimed at trying to solve the Brexit crisis was to propose border checks 10 km or so either side of the border, I had to check if the reports were for real. Then on Wednesday he apparently changed tack to a ‘two-border’ solution, promising no customs checks on the island of Ireland. Monday’s idea was the most unworkable proposal that I have heard so far – and Wednesday’s is not much better – and will be rejected out of hand by the EU.
In fact a poll in Northern Ireland in 2025 (part of the latest proposal) would most likely turn out to be a poll for a United Ireland and I think most people would know how that campaign might go.
The most serious aspect of what Mr. Johnson is doing relates to the misery and chaos that a no deal situation will cause. It is not unreasonable to say that it could cause people to lose their lives in the long term.
So here we have the British Prime Minister, an allegedly intelligent man, who is speaking on behalf of about 65 million people, and who must know that what he is proposing hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of being accepted anywhere. It’s hard to understand how these proposals were seriously considered by someone in the first place. Just when you thought that things could not get any more farcical in the UK, they reach new depths with every passing day.
From the outside, it sometimes looks as if this is a game to Boris Johnson, the erratic PM lurching from one bizarre situation to another. He seems to be coming up with more unworkable proposals with every passing week, perhaps stalling for time so that he can get the UK out of Europe without a deal – like he has always promised he is prepared to do.
The craziest thing of all is that every credible economic indicator is predicting that the UK economy will be plunged into recession in a ‘no deal’ scenario. The prediction is that hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs, there will be some shortages of medicines and foodstuffs, tariffs on almost all goods, and severe travel restrictions too. But these warnings don’t seem to bother Boris in the slightest.
As for Ireland, my contention all along has been that Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg and the rest of the Tory ‘posh boys’ could not care less about this country, that any suffering we endure arising from a no deal outcome will simply be our hard luck. One might say the same for his attitude to the suffering which a no deal Brexit will visit on his own country.
What is very worrying is the fact that there seems to be nobody in a position to sit these people down and make them see sense. Their arrogance and egos have seen to that. “How dare the Irish or anyone in the EU tell us what to do, after all we are the British Empire” seems to be their mantra.
I was always of the hope that reasonable people in the UK Government would see sense and that there would be a last-minute deal to satisfy everyone (or most people). That now looks very unlikely. Since his tenure as PM began, Boris Johnson and his colleagues have not put one credible idea on the table in relation to the negotiations. It’s as if he is relishing the chaos that he is presiding over.
There is a growing view in Europe and here in Ireland that people are now sick and tired of the mayhem in the UK and that, despite the fact that it will have very serious consequences, maybe they should leave on October 31st with or without a deal – and have done with it.
The British people will soon get a chance to make a judgement on Johnson’s leadership, via a General Election. However, I reckon it will be too late. The damage will already be done.