Brexit – FT: Boris Johnson makes a mistake by imposing preconditions on the EU
The previous British Prime Minister, Theresa May, made a mistake by intervening with the European Union in the British termination of her membership of the European Union by not having a united British position, but her successor Boris Johnson is also making a mistake by refusing to reconcile with the EU, as long as it does not adhere to its demands for the lifting of a back-up solution to avoid reintroducing Irish-Northern Irish border controls, wrote Jonathan Powell in Thursday’s issue of the British Financial Times.
Former Labor chief of Tony Blair’s former chief of staff, between 1997 and 2007 in Northern Ireland, says it is almost always a mistake to set preconditions for a trial. Boris Johnson, who has been in office for just over two weeks, can either expect a shameful backlash or expect no talks with the EU before the Brexit deadline of 31 October.
Jonathan Powell says the new Conservative leader and prime minister has been trapped because he has no chance of relinquishing the backstop to Johnson’s premise, even if he is willing to discuss the matter face-to-face. And as long as the British government does not come up with a convincing alternative to safeguarding the Good Friday peace that ends the denominational violence in Northern Ireland, which will be jeopardized by the UK’s departure from the EU single market and customs union – he reiterated the need to reintroduce border controls, which the EU cannot back down.
According to Jonathan Powell, the saying by the British Brexit camp that certain technologies can prevent the reintroduction of border control is far from a solution. These solutions can really make the goods flow smoothly, but according to the expert this is not the problem. The problem, he said, is that the reintroduction of physical border controls will reignite the anxieties about identity that have been allayed by the Good Friday agreement. “It only worsens the situation by placing cameras and gates near the border. These devices will become targets of attacks,” he predicted, adding that “eventually we will be where we left off.”
Jonathan Powell considers it possible that Boris Johnson does not even want to negotiate with the EU, although he insists he has a “one in a million chance” to come to an agreement without a deal. He may be seeking a situation where he blames the EU and the “majority majority” of the British House of Commons for uninvolved Brexit, calling for early elections.
He pointed out that Dominic Cummings, the chief adviser to the prime minister, said that the prime minister could actually initiate elections before 31 October, which would only be held after the Brexit deadline. All in all, this may mean ignoring the traditions dictated by the unwritten British constitution. According to Brexit, traditions don’t matter, Jonathan Powell added, adding that this is a two-way street and if the Conservative Party can blow them up, so will the opposition.
However, the expert warned not only of the danger of a constitutional crisis but also that when Boris Johnson’s European affairs adviser was in Brussels last week and asked when negotiations on a future relationship could resume after an unbroken Brexit : If the United Kingdom falls out of the EU without an agreement and fails to meet its tens of billions of euros in liabilities, it will probably be very soon.
According to Jonathan Powell, the island country could be in a purgatory for up to a decade, and what started as a negotiation mistake could turn into an unprecedented crisis 80 years ago.