There is no situation so bad that the addition of a policeman doesn’t make it worse, Brendan Behan believed. If he were around today he might well have added “Or David Trimble.”
According to some accounts of the negotiations leading up to the Good Friday Agreement, the one constant appears to have been that David Trimble (at the time yet to ascend to the upper realms of Lord) was sure to gum up negotiations by throwing a hissy-fit over something that was said or something that was proposed or something he imagined had been said or proposed. What Michel Barnier makes of this figure who has thrown away his life-long glasses (a miracle? Lenses? Laser treatment?) and had his hair fuller and foxier shade of russet, the Lord only knows. That’s the Lord in heaven, not the Lord on earth. He’s even thrown away his tie. A make-over and then some.
The good Lord is sueing the British government because they’ve included the backstop in the withdrawal agreement. Yes, Virginia, that’s exactly what I said, but try to moderate your language, please. And for why? For because the good Lord wants to protect the Good Friday Agreement. Mmm. The clear implication, then, is that removing the backstop would buttress the Good Friday Agreement. You think, Lord David? A hard border would be good for the Good Friday Agreement? Mmm.
He says he wouldn’t leave a gap where the backstop was – he’d replace it with a report entitled ‘A Better Deal and a Better Future’, cobbled together by the Eurosceptic Tory MP Steve Baker and published by the Global Britain group. I can almost hear the celebrations in Crossmaglen and Bridgend.
And while you’re still spluttering Rice Krispies all over the breakfast table, get this: Arlene Foster, the DUP leader has made an announcement: “The European Union must now accept the need for the withdrawal agreement to be reopened. The toxic backstop must be dealt with.”
Did you know Specsavers is now catering for deaf people?