By Steve Brown
“Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support reestablishing a border. Even if they do not admit it.” –Donald Franciszek Tusk, President of the EU
Wrong. No UK leader has ever proposed a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic since the Good Friday agreement – only the European Union has suggested and threatened to enforce it, in the event of a hard Brexit. Now it is time for Boris Johnson to call the EU’s bluff.
For too long, the EU has driven the argument that it is in charge of how and under what circumstances the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. The situation must be reversed with Britain in charge — something that Theresa May could not see, or was politically forced to abandon. Now the only way for the new UK leadership to play this, is to accept that only by proactive initiative can Britain take charge and assume the driver’s seat.
Johnson must therefore see this moment as an unique opportunity, and not cave to the Remainers — who not only wish to keep Britain enslaved to an anachronism called the European Union, but wish to see any semblance of democratic Parliamentary representation destroyed.
Unfortunately, Johnson has already somewhat squandered this opportunity by suggesting that a temporary stay for Ireland’s status in the customs union via alternative bilateral trade between Britain and the EU (as supposedly proposed by the EU!) is somehow feasible. That proposal is not going to be accepted, much less taken seriously by Ireland or the EU.
The fact that Johnson has bandied about such a DOA proposal as an unworkable bilateral agreement for Ireland shows that Johnson may have already been compromised by the Remainers. In other words, instead of sticking to his mantra that the backstop be damned, Johnson has proposed a thoroughly unworkable scenario that is as dead a duck as the backstop itself.
Now, with Parliament largely and firmly in the pocket of vested interests and in deadly fear of a General Election that might allow Jeremy Corbyn to assume power, the prospect of a hard Brexit looms large, even though Parliament has already betrayed the people of Britain by threatening to ignore their will.
So… what next and is the backstop truly dead? With new leadership, Theresa’s backstop is history and now only the EU is proposing its acceptance. Johnson is now in a perfect position to assume control and play the EU at their own game.
Crash out of the EU. Let the Irish border remain open. After all, since the Good Friday agreement Britain has never threatened to close the border… why should Britain do so now? Thankfully out of the EU and with new free trade opportunities, there is zero reason for Britain to initiate a hard border with Ireland.
And it gets better. Britain crashes out of a corrupt and powerless European Union. An European Union which cannot stand up to the United States, or exert its will anywhere in the geopolitical world, not even effectively within its own borders. Thus Britain shows the world what sovereignty means, that it is a sovereign state beholden to its people, and not to its monarchy or largely corrupt Parliament, or any outside entity such as the EU.
By crashing out of the EU, Britain can make an incredibly powerful point about sovereignty to the rest of the world, and leave the border with Ireland open just as it has always promised to do, ever since the Good Friday agreement. Ironically, such an event will force the European Union to initiate a hard border with Northern Ireland … something that the hypocritical, toothless, and gutless bureaucrats of Brussels will never ever do.
Can you imagine? – Brussels forced by Britain to setup a hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland! Besides the fact that will not happen, if it were to, that would be the death of the European Union. And Brussels knows that… let’s hope Mr Johnson does too.
Britain has always understood that without political union there can be no monetary union, one reason Britain did not adopt the euro. And due to its sovereign currency, Britain can successfully withdraw from the EU. Furthermore, by forcing the issue of the Irish border and that the EU must invoke that hard border on exit – not Britain – Britain can draw back the curtain and show that the EU itself is dead, not just the backstop.
Think of it… Britain out of the deadly grasp of the EU; Britain regains sovereignty … and leaves the border with Ireland open. In so doing Britain exposes the EU as the jackal and gutless wonder it has always been, and that the majority of people who voted for Brexit have always known it to be. Let’s hope BoJo is up to the task!
Steve Brown is the author of “Iraq: the Road to War” (Sourcewatch) editor of “Bush Administration War Crimes in Iraq” (Sourcewatch) “Trump’s Limited Hangout” and “Federal Reserve: Out-sourcing the Monetary System to the Money Trust Oligarchs Since 1913”; Steve is an antiwar activist, a published scholar on the US monetary system, and has appeared as guest contributor to theDuran, Fort Russ News, and Strategika51.