What will European leaders have made of Boris Johnson’s barnstorming speech on the steps of No 10 last night afternoon? He threw down the gauntlet to them, as has occurred in the past 3 years never. Understand that EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier recently told the BBC that Mrs. May had never specifically threatened No Deal – despite her oft-repeated mantra that ‘no deal is preferable to a negative deal’. Exactly what will European leaders have manufactured from Boris Johnson’s barnstorming conversation on the steps of No 10 yesterday afternoon? Indeed, Eurocrats such as him did their best to freeze out Mrs May, departing her to cut an unhappy figure during the Brexit discussions.
And last night Boris asked Michael Gove, viewed as one of the most capable abilities in Westminster, to speed up cross-Government planning No Deal. STEPHEN GLOVER: If law enforcement behave so unlawfully, how do we again have faith in them? STEPHEN GLOVER: Just like his hero Winston Churchill, Boris Johnson is rickety, feckless, and gaffe-prone.
STEPHEN GLOVER: Poor John Major got his facts wrong. You can scarcely imagine a more emphatic declaration of the new Prime Minister’s willingness to consider us out of Europe without a deal than this session. Of course, the EU might comfort itself with the idea that, when push involves shoving, Boris may maintain no position to effect a result of No Deal even if he desires to. The parliamentary arithmetic is against him seemingly.
On the other hands, EU panjandrums can’t be certain that he couldn’t use Labor rebels to get No Deal through Parliament, or that he receive call an election on the pressing issue and win a bigger majority. So you will see a lot of stunned and worried people in Brussels and around the capitals of Europe today.
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The question is whether a plausible threat of No Deal will probably have any effect on the EU’s negotiating position. We ought to obviously be cautious. It appeared to many – and still seems – a trivial matter in the great structure of things relatively. Surely the EU wouldn’t jeopardize the Withdrawal Agreement more than a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, which (it is rightly argued by Boris and other Brexiteers) could be policed by non-intrusive means.
In the function, Brussels (with the Irish federal government respiration down its neck) wouldn’t budge. Mrs May’s bill foundered, therefore she lost her job. This remains the official position. But there are nonetheless hints here, and small clues there, that the EU’s intransigence may be beginning to crumble, or at any rate that some social people are having second thoughts.
In Ireland, in particular, there are indications of increasing security alarm at the chance of No Deal, that was never considered a plausible final result while Mrs May is at No 10. The country might have problems with No Deal more than Britain. Half the country’s beef, timber, and construction-material exports can be purchased in the UK.
More than two-thirds of goods exporters use Britain as a ‘land bridge’. Ireland would be a strike by the unavoidable chaos of No Deal badly, and by tariffs on its exports to the UK. Almost for the very first time, Leo Varadkar, the hitherto unbending best minister of Ireland, has been criticized in the Irish Press. For instance, the political editor of the Irish Times has recommended he logs off his high equine.
There has, so far, been no noticeable change of plan for the Irish. But Mr Varadkar has said that he will at least listen to alternatives to the prevailing arrangements concerning the Backstop. Meanwhile, Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney, has noticed a No-Deal Brexit would be a disaster for all of us all, has announced that the EU would be prepared to change elements of the political declaration relating to the backstop. Both Mr Varadkar and Mr Coveney also have repeatedly said that Ireland won’t accept a difficult border with Northern Ireland in any eventuality – which is Boris’s (and previously Mrs May’s) position.