Johnson to Ireland: Follow Us Over The Cliff

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If the United Kingdom crashes out of the European Union in a hard, no-deal brexit, that would lead to the return of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a new hopeless and cockamamie plan to prevent it.

The British press first reported yesterday that Johnson will ask Ireland to leave the European Union (EU) alongside them or at least temporarily leave the EU's customs union -- the union that affords freedom of movement to members of the EU -- through some kind of hypothetical arrangement that will never happen.

Under the plan Ireland would gain a "special dispensation" from Brussels to leave its trading rules until new "alternative arrangements" to the Northern Ireland backstop are established.

"The solution is a bilateral agreement to agree a common rule book for Britain and Ireland for as long we need one," a senior minister in Johnson's government told The Sun.

The person added: "Ideally though, the EU would formally propose it rather than us [so] it is more acceptable to the Irish."

Yeah, the European Union is not going to propose that one of their other members permanently or even temporarily leave the bloc just to accommodate London.

There's so many reasons why this will never happen and could never work, it's mindboggling to even propose it.

There's a little over two months remaining until Britain will crash out of the union, meaning there's only two months remaining for Ireland and rest of the EU to draft the legal language necessary to make something like this happen. And Ireland would have to approve it with voters.

It couldn't be done even if they wanted to -- and they don't want to.

"This is an EU-UK matter, we are the EU, there is no scope for a bilateral agreement," Neale Richmond, the Brexit spokesman for Ireland's ruling Fine Gael party, tweeted, adding that the apparent proposal was a "worrying pivot" by the UK government.

Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Coveney told RTE Radio that Ireland would not be "steam-rolled" by Britain.

"There is a consequence to the approach that the British Government is taking and that consequence is that they are making a no-deal far more likely," he said.

  • Draxiar

    I saw a clever and salient answer on the door to the IT department of a company I worked for that aptly sums up this request:

    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute a crisis on mine.

  • muselet


    If this is one of the fabled “creative solutions” Boris Johnson plans to present to the EU, it’s going to make for a very short discussion (the meeting will last just long enough for the EU negotiators to stop laughing).

    Johnson and his fellow Brexiteers are doing all they can to make a no-deal Brexit a reality. Either they genuinely believe the UK is so very special that the EU will ultimately give in to every British demand, or they genuinely believe the UK will suffer no long-term negative consequences for its stupidity. Either way, they’re wrong.

    Clearly, Johnson’s endgame is to make the EU the bad guy and himself the plucky hero, but that outcome—and his dream, a triumphant, decades-long time as Prime Minister—depends on a post-Brexit Britain that isn’t an economic basket case. I don’t see that happening.


    • Tony Lavely

      Maybe he thinks trump will buy the uk. Or Ireland.

  • gescove

    Jeebus, what a stupid self-induced clusterf*ck the Brits have wrought.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Yeah. It’s like looking in a mirror. (Damn it.)