PM Johnson on the Irish Backstop


What a confluence of train wrecks this will be.


There is a very narrow path of salvation available to the UK, but it passes through a number of prodigious egos on all sides of the aisle.

My only regret is that something I had on my ebay watchlist from a British seller sold; I was waiting for the pound to drop below the dollar before buying.


So what’s your suggestion to do instead of the backstop?

Remain. Duh.


That would possibly require consent from the EU27, but I don’t really see egos on that side being in the way.

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No, the EU would surely – even at this late date – be happy if the UK said “Never mind, our bad, nothing to see here.”

The egos are on the side of Tories, who are unwilling to admit that Cameron had been hoodwinked by a performance artist (Farage) and that they’d spent the last 3 years in a senseless masturbatory exercise; on the side of the Corbynites, who won’t admit that many people just don’t like him and would rather see the country go down in flames than see him as PM; and in the hodgepodge of Lib Dems, Change UKers, and moderate Tories who would rather see the UK go down in flames rather than see JC as PM. Oh, and JC himself, who in addition to not being willing to step aside in favor of someone this group hates less, has favored leaving the EU since before the UK even joined.

Honestly, I think that if Corbyn and Swinson just quit and left, a majority caretaker coalition could be formed and at the very least get a new referendum.


Sorry, I misunderstood you and took your “aisle” as a metaphor for the channel. Since our parliament has its seating amphitheater style, i.e. a circular sector were every MP faces the center I didn’t make the connection.

As a non-British EU-Citizen, “both sides” kinda default to UK/EU-27 for me.


It’s pretty clear what “no backstop” means.
The Good Friday Accord is toast.
Republicans say “We told you so. You can’t trust the fucking British.”

NI considers that it voted strongly for Remain.
Then it looks at all the Big Finance that will be pulling out of London and moving to Dublin.
Then it looks at how the IRA and Sinn Fein are exceeding all their recruiting targets.
Bojoke achieves what the the Troubles and the Easter Rebellion never could - a Free United Ireland.
The DUP has a Sad because it’s not getting bribes from Westminster any longer.

The Scots start thinking how they were told “The only way to remain in the EU is to remain in the UK.”
They start thinking about it a lot.

Little Britain discovers that its dick is caught in a cleft stick of its own cutting.


I used it without thinking; it is a useful expression, and I don’t know of a similar term in British English. (We use “crossing the aisle” where the British or Australians would use “crossing the floor”, but talking about someone on the “other side of the floor” would sound like a reference to someone in the basement.)

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No, the UK could unilaterally revoke article 50 and remain in the EU. Not that the EU would have a problem with them staying anyway.


Why on earth should Swinson quit?

That was the ruling of the European Court of Justice back then, on 2018-12-10. At that time article 50 had been invoked, but the two years were not up yet.

Among for the provisions for allowing unilateral revocation was that it had to be had to be “unequivocal and unconditional”, or be in full accordance with that country’s constitution, and that it was not be used merely to halt the process and and then restart it.

Considering that the UK took their sweet time to even involve article 50 and had to ask for two extensions because of internal reasons, I think that the unequivocal part would be in severe doubt. I might even argue asking for extensions asserts only that it was about when to leave, not if.

And unconditional, well, there’s no way a ruling party in the UK could agree to that, after all the posturing and propaganda. And likewise unacceptable to at least part of the EU27, as it would signal that something very akin to blackmail is a way to get concessions you can’t get by dealing with parliament.

Even an unconditional Bremain, keeping the British privileges would be hard to swallow, as trust in the UK as a member is now severely compromised. What Scotland and Northern Ireland feel about England is likely how a majority of the EU feels about the UK, which, even though we are aware about Northern Ireland and Scotland, is a member, and thus London (with his UK hat role) the interface.

The only thing that would probably seen as a sign of true commitment and might guarantee a seamless Bremain would be dropping the rebate. Yielding Gibraltar can’t be done against the will of the Gibraltans (or whatever they are called) and Spain seemed to be able to live with the situation as long both were EU members. Dropping the Pound would be obviously a no go and much to disruptive to the World economy and utterly unsellable to the British public.

Nothing has changed since that ruling, the UK government could still revoke article 50, it would probably require another act of parliament (though that’s not certain, but attempting to do so without one would invite a legal challenge), and if it did so it would remain a member of the EU under the exact same terms that exist today, including keeping the rebate and the pound. The “unequivocal and unconditional” bit seems impossible to enforce, the EU can’t divine the future; as long as the revocation itself is unconditional (simply stating the article has been revoked), I don’t see how they could do anything about it. The fact there has been an extension isn’t relevant either, it can be revoked right up until the point the UK leaves.

This is all a bit hypothetical though… for two reasons: there will not be a parliamentary majority for revoking, and the EU would happily agree to it if there was, even if it meant keeping the same deal the UK currently enjoys.

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Because her insistence that Corbyn not lead a caretaker government is one of the problems.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t as much of a problem as Corbyn’s insistence that only he can lead such a government, and I quite like Swinson (whereas I’ve completely gone off Corbyn), but laying down conditions at this time is not helpful for this emergency situation.

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First: yes, it’s hypothetical for the reasons you mentioned. “Happily”, however is wishful thinking. It’s simply the least bad option and London burned a lot of goodwill. After all, there were quite a few MP who talked about being free from slavery, who threatened Ireland, etc. and while, anecdotal, lots of people I know went from “ah those crazy English and their rebate” to “Reisende soll man nicht aufhalten”, which is a tad milder than “good riddance”.

Nonetheless, the “unequivocal and unconditional” part of the ruling does exist, leaving the the following scenario possible: U.K. withdrawals article 50 and a pissed of country sues against this. Back to the ECJ again, who’ll then have specify what they meant and if applies.

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I don’t think the EU will cut their nose off to spite their face on this, just because of a minority of annoying little Englanders. They know it’s in everyone’s best interests to prevent brexit. The whole fiasco will serve as a cautionary tale to other nations too, would serve to strengthen the union against the likes of the far-right in Italy.

The ECJ has already ruled on this matter, they wouldn’t have to again.

It gets better. Bojoke wants the Republic to ditch the EU in favor of a trade union with the UK. Because if there’s one thing the Irish can be counted on to do it’s subordinate their interests and well-being to London out of affection for Dear Old Blighty.


That makes zero sense. You don’t think Corbyn is fit to lead a caretaker government, Jo Swinson agrees with you, and you think this means she has to quit as leader of her party?!? (which she was just elected to the post of only a few weeks ago). She’s not putting herself forward for the position you know… (she’s said it should be Keb Clarke or Harriet Harman).

Swinson is completely right to object to Corbyn, there’s no way he could command a majority, even with the Lib Dems support… he can’t even count on the MPs in his own party to back him half the time. Not only that, but she knows he’s completely untrustworthy when it comes to Brexit, he’d definitely find a way to cock it up somehow. I wouldn’t trust him as PM for many other reasons too, interim or not.

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