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Dishonest Brussels’ stand-off with Boris Johnson is bordering on absurd
WILL the EU budge? Boris Johnson would plainly rather have a deal if he can get one, and he is right to want one. We should leave on friendly terms if we can.
So far, though, all the concessions have come from our side. We are offering to pay more than we owe, to let EU judges rule here, to carry on as non-voting members for two years.
Emmanuel Macron welcomes Boris Johnson prior to their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris[/caption]
The one thing we can’t accept is that the EU should continue to run our trade policy with non-EU countries after we leave.
The EU doesn’t put it like that, of course. Instead, rather cleverly, it pretends the issue is avoiding a hard border in Ireland.
But who would put that border up? London has made clear from the start that it won’t install frontier checks.
Dublin says the same. So who is going to build it? Donald Trump? With Mexico paying?
There is a dishonesty in the EU’s position. It says that there must be a backstop to prevent a hard border.
And if Britain doesn’t agree? Then, the EU says, there will have to be a hard border!
MPs have voted that nonsense down three times, and they’re right.
So if there is no movement from the EU on the backstop, Britain will leave with no deal — which, while not the end of the world, would involve needless disruption, especially for Ireland.
Will the EU compromise? Angela Merkel sounded willing to find a solution.
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Even Emmanuel Macron suggested yesterday, for the first time, that the text might be amended.
But, in Brussels, officials would rather see all sides suffer than watch a post-EU Britain flourish.
Until now, the Eurocrats, rather than the elected leaders, have got their way. I suspect they will again.