Our alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson claims that this is the point in the Brexit negotiations when “the rubber hits the road”. There will be a solution to the so-called Irish Backstop. But his proposals have already been leaked, and been given the thumbs down. Here’s what the BBC had to say about events.
A total Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
“The Irish broadcaster RTE had reported that a ‘string of customs posts perhaps five to 10 miles away from the frontier’ had been floated by the UK. But Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said the plans were a ‘non-starter’, tweeting that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland ‘deserve better’”. So what say Bozo to that?
“The prime minister told Breakfast: ‘They are not talking about the proposals that we are actually going to be tabling. They are talking about some stuff that went in previously.’” Yeah, right. Given the timeframe, and the number of people working on the UK’s proposals, we can say with significant confidence that Bozo’s pants are on fire.
So expect more bluster from the Tories, but it’s almost certain that what will be proposed to the EU is as described by Tony Connelly of RTÉ: “the UK has proposed a string of 'customs clearance centres’ on both sides of the Irish border as a key part of its plan to replace the backstop, RTE News understands. The ‘centres’, effectively customs posts, would be located between 5-10 miles ‘back’ from the border”.
Connelly concludes “Dublin and Brussels will take a dim view of them … The main argument against this approach is that all the technology in the world is of no use if the actual customs tariff makes your cross-border business unviable, especially if you're in agrifood”. As to that 10 mile zone, the Guardian’s Lisa O’Carroll has bad news.
“This idea of customs 10m away from border was dismissed long time ago as was free trade zone around the border. It suggests little knowledge of the geography of the border”. A 10 mile zone would go beyond Derry, Enniskillen, Armagh and Newry; Ms O’Carroll cites one example - around Clones - where imposing such a concept would be impossible.
But, as the Telegraph’s Europe editor Peter Foster has told, “Can confirm, per source, that this plan reported by [Tony Connelly] IS indeed in the UK [Brexit] backstop proposal that Boris Johnson will start to brief to EU Leaders tomorrow”. He adds, ominously, “It is, frankly, hard to square these proposals with UK being a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement”. So what are the prospects of acceptance?
“You would have had to live in a hole the last three years to think this has any prospect of being accepted by the EU side or the Irish government. This could not be seen as a serious attempt to get a (negotiable) deal, given EU positions”. And, right on cue, has come a response from Tánaiste Simon Coveney in confirmation.
“Non-Paper = Non-Starter. Time the EU had a serious proposal from the UK Govt if a [Brexit] deal is to be achievable in October. NI and IRE deserves better!”
Bozo’s brave new deal is already dead. It’s almost as if he isn’t serious about getting one.
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