Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, telling him the Irish backstop has to go from any future exit deal between Britain and the EU.
This is great, as far as it goes. But, as The Brexit Party’s chairman Richard Tice rightly says, it doesn’t go nearly far enough.
Let’s be clear: the WA even without the backstop is still the worst deal in history, is not Brexit and the Brexit Party will fight it tooth and nail. This letter confirms our fears that Boris and the Tories cannot be trusted to deliver a proper Brexit. https://t.co/wfIgJYxm2H
— Richard Tice (@TiceRichard) August 19, 2019
The Irish ‘backstop’ was cooked up by EU apparatchiks – operating in cahoots with British Remainer Civil Servants, acting with the approval of the Remainer Prime Minister Theresa May – and inserted into the Withdrawal Agreement purely as an ambit claim.
An ‘ambit claim’ is legal jargon for a deliberately over-the-top initial demand made in expectation of an eventual counter-offer and compromise.
That is, an ‘ambit claim’ is put on the table with absolutely no expectation that it is going to be taken seriously. It’s theatrics; it’s a frightener; it’s bullying and bluster and willy-waving.
So when Boris Johnson makes noises about wanting the ‘backstop’ removed, it’s not as if he deserves congratulating for playing hardball with the opposition. All he’s doing is saying the equivalent of:
“Actually, if you don’t mind, we’d rather not enter into an agreement which entails your taking a giant pair of shears and lopping off our testicles for the pure sadistic hell of it.”
Which means, in turn, that it won’t be any kind of victory if Boris – after his conciliatory tour of the various EU member states – comes away with a version of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement minus the backstop. It will just be a Carthaginian Peace whereby the entire city is still razed to the ground, with the earth salted and the wells poisoned – but maybe with a generous concession clause where the men don’t get tortured before they are executed, or where only half the women get raped.
EU Rejects Boris Johnson’s Last-Ditch Appeal to Strike Brexit Deal https://t.co/TNH8LBxWVB
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 20, 2019
This is the depressing possibility if Boris can persuade the EU’s negotiators to come back to the table and if they’re devious enough to appreciate just what a massive surrender a renegotiated Withdrawal Agreement would be with just the backstop removed.
But this point, I’m still cautiously optimistic that this won’t happen.
The reason I’m optimistic is that when I look at people like Leo Varadkar – the Irish version of Canada’s President Bieber – I do not find myself thinking: “Truly they are sending us their brightest and best.”
Varadkar is a blusterer and virtue-signalling poltroon trying to punch way above his weight. In his head, he is a global statesman. In reality, he is the Prime Minister of a nation whose total population is less than half of Britain’s capital city. Up until now, he has earned himself cheap political capital at home by presenting himself as a heroic figure standing up to Ireland’s former colonial oppressor by refusing to budge on the issue of the backstop. But really he is just allowing himself to be manipulated by his EU puppet masters who will drop him like a shot — and screw over Ireland to boot, especially with regards to their low corporation tax which is about the only thing that is attracting the overseas investment propping up their otherwise moribund economy — the moment it becomes convenient to do so.
Once you remember that the EU’s commissioners and apparatchiks are a bunch of tossers incapable of doing anything other than act like a bunch of tossers it gives you hope. So desperate are these people to be seen publicly to reject Britain’s overtures that the likelihood remains that they will choose No Deal (which will shaft themselves more than it shafts Britain) rather than opting for the more subtle and deadly tactic of keeping Britain shackled to the EU forever by making its laws subsidiary to those of the European Court of Justice, as the Withdrawal Agreement stipulates.
A Very British Coup: Hard-Left Jeremy Corbyn Calls on Anti-Brexit Conservatives to Back Him as Prime Minister https://t.co/mOik2blwCb
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 19, 2019
As with the tale of the scorpion and the frog, we have to rely on the scorpion being utterly incapable of doing anything other than sting the frog ferrying it across the river and drowning itself in the process.
That’s my calculation, anyway. I suspect it’s also the calculation of the much more Machiavellian Dominic Cummings who is Boris’s chief Brexit advisor.
It also partly underpins the opinion of top political economist Dr Ruth Lea, who considers a No Deal Brexit on October 31st the most likely outcome – with a probability of 75 percent.
Lea is the chief political economist at Arbuthnot Banking Group so her opinions carry weight. She also has an excellent track record of speaking truth to power. As she told me, she was once famously sacked from her job at the Institute of Directors on the orders of Prime Minister Gordon Brown who was furious at her constant attacks on his deficit spending which – rightly as it proved in the 2008 crash – she kept insisting was unsustainable.
If Lea thinks No Deal Brexit is 75 per cent likely, then I’m not too worried just yet.