I missed the Leo and Boris show when it went out live yesterday morning, but I caught up with it on RTÉ News and later, on BBC. It was an interesting contrast in reporting styles. In the RTÉ clip, they showed Leo doing most of the talking and Boris standing there silent, like a confused schoolboy listening to the headmaster. On the BBC clip, the focus was on Boris and his statement and Leo was largely a by-stander.
Actually, , it seems, Leo was big and polite and dominant, while Boris was overweight and lightweight at the same time. The backstop was staying, Leo made clear. And any idea of bringing things to a close by crashing out of the EU was misguided – the UK would have to come back to the table to negotiate future relations. Boris did his usual shifty thing, making clear again that he wanted a deal but would settle for a no-deal.
Leo looked good and sounded good, beside the shambolic bollix of a politician beside him. Leo also raised a point that Brexiteers would do well to digest, since it’s not spoken about too much: crashing out without a deal won’t put an end to things, set the UK free, no more EU chains. The UK will have to come back to the table and negotiate trading relations with the EU (in the person of the new Trade Commissioner for the EU, one Phil Hogan, he who it was claimed pulled Enda Kenny’s strings before he set off for a bigger European stage. ) But it’s going to take years of negotiating to reset UK-EU relations. If the British public think this past three years have been bad, just think how the next three and probably a lot more will be.
Again, it comes back to the back-stop. There are murmurs now that our fevered NE corner may be given special status – full access to the EU market and full access to the UK market. The original plan. Boris would go for that if it was dressed up a wee bit. But standing in his way, as they stood in the way of Theresa May, is the DUP.
It must be nice to be a power-broker. But it must be a bit less nice to be the key-holder who opens the door to chaos.
I can hear the beat of pigeon wings as they make their way home to roost. The thing is, has Arlene heard them? Or has she gone permanently deaf?