Seriously, there is no point in a backstop if it is time limited or if one party can simply withdraw from it at will. The EU’s deputy chief negotiator has said that there is no change in the EU position.
James Felton, on Twitter, put up this picture with the following caption, which more or less perfectly describes the position of the Brit Prime Minister.
“Me again. You know the backstop.
The backstop I signed up to, yes.
After two years of painful negotiation, that backstop, yes.
The backstop you’ve repeatedly said is a red f***ing line, yes.
I was thinking – can we scrap it?
Ok, same time again tomorrow.”
Oh, Theresa, if only you hadn’t got yourself entangled with the Dinosaur Unbelievers Party (DUP)! And you thought the worst thing you’d ever done was run through some field or other when you were a bairn?
Aye, well. I think the UK has just been shown without any doubt that having cake and eating it is the stuff of fairy stories and princesses with golden hair. And that, indeed we are just like other countries.
“EU27 wants the UK as a close friend and partner and will enter talks on the future with an open, positive mind. But, given UK red lines, only an FTA is possible. It will be the first FTA in history to loosen, not strengthen economic ties. Drifting apart is the essence of Brexit.”
So goes the Tweet from Donald Tusk.
It is worth remembering that the Scottish government’s assessment (roundly rubbished by the London government at the time, but then shown to be accurate by subsequently published UK figures) estimated that the Scottish economy could suffer by £12.7 billion a year.
So bravo UK. You put all the red lines there. Now we’re supposed to sit back and suffer?
And for all those who are blaming the EU for being harsh on poor little Britain, here’s a comment from Hugo Rifkind:
You guys warned us that we wouldn’t be able to use YOUR money. You would put up border posts on all the roads crossing between our countries. You wouldn’t trade with us. You even told us that pensions we had paid into for in some cases 50+ years would stop.
OK, we know you lied, but given all that, I think the EU is letting Britain off lightly by comparison.
Still, I’m sure that the Queen, Charles and Maybot all sucking up something wonderful to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia today, will be making up for all the lost opportunities. Just think of all the weapons you can sell them so that they can go on playing puppeteer in the Middle East Proxy Wars!