Category: Boris Johnson

Open border with the EU

I like this part of Boris’s letter to Donald Tusk:

This government will not put in place infrastructure, checks or controls at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. We would be happy to accept a legally binding commitment to this effect and hope that the EU would do likewise.

The jurisdiction with fewer regulations has nothing to lose from such an arrangement, of course. The EU bureaucrats, however, want to be in control, and a source of cheap goods from a free-er jurisdiction must make them uncomfortable (as well as being highly profitable for Northern Ireland). Leaving the EU to build their own border infrastructure is the default position for the UK anyway: the UK cannot lose. This is a test of the EU’s commitment to free trade, as opposed to “free trade” as controlled by them.

The letter is only about the backstop. Theresa May’s agreement minus the backstop still has many problems. It remains to be seen whether Boris and Parliament will settle for it.

Boris must win against barmy Tory Remainers…

If Parliament continues to block Brexit, Mr Johnson is right to shut it down. Just this week a ComRes survey showed 54 percent of Britons would support him proroguing Parliament to ensure we leave on October 31. If Remainer MPs win a vote of no confidence, Boris should call an election for immediately after we have left. These barmy MPs must no longer be allowed to derail our democratic process. They voted to give us the choice in 2016 and must stick by their decision. It really is the People’s PM against Parliament – and Boris must win for the sake of democracy.

Otherwise what is the point of voting ever again? Especially when a handful of deluded MPs think it’s better to entrust our nation to a Marxist dinosaur than simply extricating ourselves from a failing EU.

Tim Newark

Does Boris realign anything?

Boris Johnson looks to me like he might well be a very successful prime minister. He has an air of winning about him. He is annoying the lefty media but Ordinary People seem to like him. Using Facebook to bypass the media and talk directly to the Ordinary People ought to do him good.

He makes some good noises. He is positive about leaving the EU. He hires special advisers from free-market think tanks. Jacob Rees-Mogg is in the cabinet. He has promised tax cuts. He takes a dim view of social engineering sin taxes.

On the other hand he is not very much different from any other Conservative MP. He banned drinking on the tube. He wants to spend more money on police and get them to stop and search people. He admires Pericles in part because of his enthusiasm for infrastructure projects. He talks about jobs as if they were a benefit and not a cost. He wants the police to stop and search people. Amber Rudd is in the cabinet. He is into all that green nonsense. He goes on about how wonderful the NHS is. The British Ordinary People love all this (except possibly the green stuff (and Amber Rudd), though they tolerate it, believing it is somewhat necessary). One of the reasons the lefty media is annoyed is that he is promising to do things they like so that all they can do is moan about how it can not be afforded because of tax cuts.

We will probably get our no deal Brexit, no matter how much Boris says he wants to do a deal knowing the EU probably will not. It will probably work out just fine. Britain will probably bumble along pretty much as before and after a few years it will all be forgotten. But with Boris as a successful and popular prime minister there is a good chance nothing much radical will happen. Corporation tax will not be abolished. Unilateral free trade will not be declared. Swathes of regulations will not be removed. Laws will not be repealed. Hong Kong citizens will not be given British passports.

It will mostly be minor policy tweaks made to sound more exciting than they really are. Trending in a slightly more positive direction, perhaps, but ultimately politics as usual: mild conservatives vs. liberal democrats, irrespective of what party they are actually in. PMQs aside, a successful Boris turns out to be a bit boring.

Is Boris bluffing?

Today’s wailing in the press is about how Boris has not made any attempt to approach the EU and that no deal is the default option. Guido has noticed, too, and cites more evidence.

Convincingly maintaining that you are prepared to walk away, even by appearing uninterested at all in the transaction, makes for good haggling. There is in fact no difference in appearance between a Boris genuinely happy with leaving without a deal, and a Boris who really wants a deal but thinks the EU will blink first. If they do, we may find that Richard Tice is right and we get a “reheated” Theresa May withdrawal agreement.

So Remainers, no need to panic: just because Boris is maintaining coercive credibility does not mean he will push the button. Leavers: keep holding your breath.

Can Boris & the Tories be trusted? Yes, I know, stop laughing!

It appears that Tory leader Boris Johnson is now moving towards a reheated version of Theresa May’s terrible Withdrawal Agreement – the worst deal in history, a treaty that was accurately described by Boris as reducing the UK to a state of ‘vassalage’.

After a few short days making positive noises, the new Prime Minister is already talking about an extended period of Transition. A period when we would effectively still be in the Single Market and Customs Union, we would not be able to implement new trade deals, would still be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and would not have control of our fishing waters. Under the terms of Mrs May’s agreement, we would also unnecessarily be paying £39 billion without the EU agreeing to any new trade deal.

– Richard Tice, Chairman, The Brexit Party