A detail in the The oft-forgotten Brexit story is Boris Johnson's support for Theresa May's withdrawal agreement at a third Commons vote in March 2019. Having resigned from cabinet in protest against LeMs. May's plan, he approved of it, not because he changed his mind about the content, but because it seemed opportune at the time. The motive was the fear of losing Brexit altogether; the intention was to kill Britain's EU membership, take any available deal, and then try to change it from the outside.
Ms. May lost this vote. Mr Johnson became Prime Minister and his signature and exit strategy became government policy. Hence the decision in October 2019 to accept the Northern Ireland Protocol, place a customs at the Irish Sea . Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson's chief adviser at the time, said there was never at DowningStreet to stick to what had been agreed. A typically selfish and pugnacious Twitter blast from Mr. Cummings included the claim that "cheating strangers is an essential part of the job ".
Mr. Johnson might not agree, but nothing in his demeanor regarding Northern Ireland and his carefully negotiated special status indicates good faith or a commitment to honest diplomacy. on Tuesday, Lord Frost, Mr Johnson's Minister for Brexit, made a speech demanding that the protocol be dropped and replaced by a new treaty. He particularly insisted on the fact that the European Court of Justice no longer has any jurisdiction in Northern Ireland. As Mr Johnson is aware, this jurisdiction is intrinsic to the functioning of market rules only.EU, which apply in Northern Ireland to avoid the requirement of a hard with the Republic of Ireland. Mr. Frost's request is, in essence, blowing up the foundations of the deal. From Downing Street's perspective, it is an intolerable affront to national sovereignty to have EU decisions applicable anywhere in UK territory under all circumstances.
To make the request at all suggests intransigence. To do so the day before the European Commission had to come up with its own technical remedies to the operational problems of the protocol was downright provocative. These plans, presented Wednesday by Maroš Šefčovič, the vice-chairman of the committee responsible for Brexit, were practical and technical, unlike Mr Frost's contribution. The EU offers a high degree of flexibifairness in customs enforcement and regulatory controls, effectively applying much more benefit of the doubt so that many more goods can pass unhindered from Britain to Northern Ireland. Such an arrangement would have been seen as a dramatic concession and a victory for Brexiters if it had been proposed at an earlier stage in the process. Some EU members, notably France, are uncomfortable with the plan for precisely this reason. It seems to reward British intransigence. Seasoned followers of conservative politics know that Eurosceptics The offer of the EU is a bet. Mr Šefčovič described it as overturning its existing rules "backwards and forwards ". It is generous enough that the UK's rejection proves Mr Johnson prefers conflict to resolution. If the goal is to make Brexit work for Northern Ireland , Mr Šefčovič's proposals are agreed. Rather, to insist on a complete abandonment of the protocol would be tantamount to holding Northern Ireland hostage in a reckless game of political swindle that could quickly escalate into a costly and unnecessary trade war. This is the choice Mr Johnson faces. announcement offered diplomatic solution to a problem that he himself created. It costs him little to accept; it is very expensive for Great Britain if it refuses.