It was just what alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had been waiting for: at the eleventh hour of, er, the seventeenth day of the tenth month, he had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. He had a deal, a real, genuine, deal, agreed between UK negotiators and those representing the EU. Here was proof that Bozo The Clown was no figure of fun, but a real, significant, substantial statesman.
A total Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
Sterling leapt to the dizzy heights of €1.16, which sounds good until you realise that this rate of exchange was normal at the beginning of last April. Still, the BBC has dutifully reported “A Brexit deal has been agreed between UK and EU negotiating teams before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘We've got a great new deal that takes back control.’” Control. But not for everyone.
The real PM looks on
As the Beeb’s report also tells, “The DUP has cast doubt on its sign off, saying they still cannot support it … it is understood the new plan would see Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK - something the DUP, among others, has great concerns about”. Northern Ireland could be “treated differently” not temporarily, but in perpetuity.
In fact, the DUP has rejected Bozo’s deal already, not that this has interrupted the cheerleading of the Beeb’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg. “DUP is not on board as I understand it - this is high wire … You can just about see deal going through Parliament without DUP, maybe if you squint - but what does it mean for dozens of Brexiteer tories who often take their cues from them”. It means hypocrisy - and selling out the DUP.
Ms K really doesn’t understand the DUP: “Political momentum matters enormously but so does the text - will it give the DUP any reason to budge ? Will post the link as soon as we have it - beware any politician saying now they def WILL or WON’T support it”. As Sky News ‘ senior Ireland Correspondent David Blevins has reminded us, he understands them very well. "DUP: ‘Read our statement. It hasn’t changed.’”
And, as the Corporation’s Europe Editor Katya Adler, who is more in touch with EU reality here, has pointed out, the DUP is not their problem. “EU response to the DUP refusal to accept the draft Brexit agreement as it stands is: this is first and foremost a problem for the UK”. Michel Barnier and his team did their bit. Not their problem.
Also, she has shown why the DUP has refused to go along with Bozo. "This is a massive difference to the backstop in Theresa May's deal which was written up as being temporary. The new text envisages a potential for NI to have different customs and regulatory mechanism from rest of UK permanently. This of course is huge for the DUP”.
Worse, she warns the euphoria is getting ahead of reality: “EU Ambassadors representing leaders in Brussels expected to receive draft new Brexit text this morning so as to be able to read with legal experts in EU capitals before EU leaders discuss. They've not received text. EU diplomat to me just now ‘We are more and more pessimistic’”.
So what’s Bozo up to? Lisa O’Carroll of the Guardian: “So my understanding is: Boris Johnson decided to do deal without the DUP. He knows he won't get the deal through parliament, but he will get what he always wanted - a general election with a deal that he can wave at the electorate”. Except the No Deal At Any Price faction won’t wear it.
The Tory leadership have what Polecat Dom wants: momentary political advantage and a poll bounce going into what is looking like an early General Election. But the rest of this deal is likely to prove rather worse than that negotiated by Theresa May, and any deal which means the UK honouring its obligations to the EU - like paying the divorce bill which is thus far not being mentioned - is going to come under fire from the Brexit Party.
Bozo will look for the shortest possible election campaign. Jeremy Corbyn, and indeed all other party leaders with Commons representation, should make sure he doesn’t get it.
Because what has happened is that our PM has capitulated to the EU side in order to gain a head start in that campaign. He deserves to fail. And hopefully he will do just that.
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