Current Affairs Politics

UK Leader Boris Johnson Heads For No Deal Cliff But Will He Jump?

Tick-tock goes the Brexit clock. Or more accurately the Trexit clock since Britain has already exited the European Union and is now struggling to exit the transition part of its drawn out divorce from the EU (and some might argue, from reality). At the moment it’s all talk of the stiff upper lip and the Blitz spirt in London, and growing astonishment and dismay in Brussels that the British may actually be as deranged as some would claim. The ones in Downing Street and Westminster at least; and whatever is left of the metaphorical Fleet Street. Was the much publicised story about extra naval ships taking to la Manche to see off trespassing foreign fishing vessels a harbinger of UK actions to come? A new Cod War for the smartphone generation? Or was it just routine planning for the upcoming post-EU dispensation given an extra turn or two on the PR wheel by the Whitehall spin doctors in a crude attempt to put pressure on the recalcitrant Continentals? And the French in particular.

The sensible money is on a last minute compromise agreement, or the promise of an agreement through yet another interminable extension of some kind or another. However, in the last big gamble over Britain and Europe, the sensible money backed the former staying wedded to the latter. And we all know how that turned out. Of course, all sorts of mini-deals on all sorts of UK-EU interactions are inescapable in the near future no matter how much the British may huff and puff about it. And many are already in play or about to be.

Not least of these is the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol, the old backstop clause on steroids, the effects of which will be felt in the coming months, creating a maritime customs frontier in the Irish Sea. A 21st century partition that has caused a few Irish and British journalists to quip that Brexit has done more to put Ireland on the stepping stones to unity than the IRA ever did. Except that without the Good Friday Agreement there would be no protocol. And without the IRA there would have been no Good Friday Agreement. So…

3 comments on “UK Leader Boris Johnson Heads For No Deal Cliff But Will He Jump?

  1. He will take a deal the UK economy is stuffed otherwise, the main thing is that he wants to come out as the Churchill, whatever the deal, it will never be good as the deal they voted themselves out off. The Biden factor played a big role on the u turn over the illegal clauses regards the NI internal market bill. If Trump had of won the election he would have taken the opposite approach and bank on a USA trade deal no matter how bad but the optics would have been favorable to him.


    • If it’s true that Biden’s victory had much of anything to do with it, that just proves how little they understand the US political process. For one thing the President cannot make Congress approve a trade deal if it doesn’t want. Secondly, getting a Trade Deal through the US Congress is a tough process and doesn’t often happen without some element of bipartisan support. From Congress’s POV it’s part of their job to scrutinize trade deals intensely even with friendly nations. The US Diplomatic Corps has a multidimensional investment in the GFA and any politician who puts it all on the Democrats or the Irish American community is sadly mistaken.

      Another massive blindspot you see in some British Conservative: They just don’t understand that not all Hibernian sympathizers in the US are NOT of Irish origin themselves. While it’s true that in the past people of Irish origins faced a great deal of discrimination in US society, it’s also true that the country has a LONG history of people who sympathized with Ireland’s plight from every ethnic stripe the country had/has to offer. Cherokee monies during The Famine were one example. It’s also true that the most admired man in US history was a near lifelong Hibernian sympathizer, even though his family tree was chalk full of hard assed, uber hard core Cromwell supporting English Puritans.

      I suppose you are going to tell me that Boris Johnson might have even put more weight on Biden’s IRish connections that his party. They don’t get it!! Well, Boris’s Daddy blamed Obama taking down a bust of Churchill on his Kenyan origins.


  2. There are a number of things in Brexit that could inhibit British aggression, especially if the economy takes it hard.

    One is that the UK could have a weak tax base, and strained budget. If that’s true it’s hard to fund wars. Brexit was promised in order to free-up more money for the NHS. (14.00/month per person? Were they really naive enough to think that would deliver the moon?) So if the economy tanks and the country spends a lot of money on foreign wars, public discontent could get really bad, really fast.

    Another problem is that it was largely older Britons who supporter Brexit in the first place. If Britain wanted to start a number of wars it would most be the young called upon to fight. IF so many younger Brits didn’t want Brexit in the first place and then the Brexiteers start pushing them and their friends into a war they probably don’t want either? The social resentment could get really, really bad and fast over that.

    More fundamentally for a rainy country with such nice soils Britain has always had a odd relationship to “food security” as a nation. The Corn Laws that are remembered so badly for slowing up any attempt to alleviate The Famine, were after all created in part because of food shortages and dependencies Britain faced during the Napoleonic War (and again during WWI/WWII). OK. It can be hard from an Irish POV to summon up any real sympathy for the UK’s precarious food situation!! However, it’s obviously driven a lot of Britain’s politics. (Apparently The Empiricists couldn’t figure out a way to encourage domestic production without a good enough emergency exemption clause!!!) Certainly the UK is unlikely to become food sufficient on its own without going from one of the worst countries in the world for ag policies for at least three centuries to a shining star in the area overnight. Which isn’t to say it’s impossible, but……………………………….


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