Boris Johnson seems to think (Telegraph, Jan 26) that the EU may finally be reconsidering the Irish backstop (and this despite opposite protestations by the Irish Foreign Minister). If Johnson is right – and he probably knows more than most – what are we to conclude? Two things:
First: that if the backstop can be removed at the eleventh hour it was clearly unnecessary all along.
Second: the rational conclusion must be that the backstop was merely a ruse to render the Withdrawal Agreement unacceptable to Parliament, and so to thwart Brexit.
Neither possibility looks good for the EU. Either its bureaucracy has become obsessed with matters which turn out to be mere trivia, cynically using the Good Friday Agreement to add further confusion. Or worse, the entire negotiation is revealed as having been undertaken in bad faith and as a mere charade.
The EU, of course has past form: the French, the Irish and the Danes have at different times been denied their right of self-expression. (Not to mention the Greeks!)
It is hard to see why one should wish to remain in any kind of relationship with someone who behaves so badly.