Bojo’s Bodgit Brexit

Commentators repeatedly question whether Bojo has a plan for Brexiting with a deal. But he has already said what it is. The UK gives up membership of the EU on 31 October, enters a “standstill period” and, during that “standstill”, negotiates the UK’s long term relationship with the EU, including the means of preventing a hard border with the Irish Republic. Would Parliament buy it? Perhaps, given the risks of No Deal. Might the EU accept such an arrangement if there were a firm commitment to resolving the Irish border issue in the political declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the EU? Not beyond a possibility. Would his Cabinet and the Brexiteers in the Party accept it? Some, like Gove , Cox and Rudd, clearly would. After all, it would just be the May deal with a softened back stop. Some, like Rees Mogg, Raab and members of the ERG, clearly would not for fear of the UK becoming a “vassal state” bound into the EU indefinitely but without any say in its governance. Might such an arrangement nonetheless be sufficient to persuade enough hard and soft Brexiteers to fall in behind him to defang the Lib Dems, the Labour Party and the Brexit Party? Perhaps. Given the alternatives and the prospect of a short and calamitous premiership, it is no wonder that Bojo thinks that such a Brexit is worth a shot.


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