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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Boris skewered

For those who still question the portrayal of Boris Johnson as a national embarrassment in his role as Foreign Secretary, this article on the Reuters' website should put doubts to rest.

They report that Germany and France have brushed aside comments from Johnson suggesting there is no link between the EU's principle of free movement and access to its single market, saying they could send Johnson a copy of the Lisbon Treaty and even travel to London to explain it to him in English.

Apparently, Boris told Sky News television on Thursday that the EU's position that there was an automatic trade-off between access to the single market and free movement was "complete baloney." This has not gone down well amongst the powers-to-be on he continent:

Asked about the remarks at a news conference in Berlin, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his French counterpart Michel Sapin shot glances at each other before the German host responded.

"We just looked at each other because we're used to respecting foreign ministers a lot," Schaeuble said.

"If we need to do more, we will gladly send her majesty's foreign minister a copy of the Lisbon Treaty. Then he can read that there is a certain link between the single market and the four core principles in Europe," he added.

"I can also say it in English. So if clarification is necessary we can pay a visit and explain this to him in good English," Schaeuble said.

Was Theresa May perpetrating a massive joke on the United Kingdom when she made Boris Foreign Minister? If so, it has ceased to be funny.

Boris needs to learn that he can not get away with the sort of loose talk and dodgy promises he used to such good effect during the EU referendum when representing the UK as a Minister.
> Was Theresa May perpetrating a massive joke on the United Kingdom when she made Boris Foreign Minister? <

My hypothesis (for however much or little it is worth) is that by appointing him Foreign Secretary, she has programmed Boris Johnson — and the Brexit negotiation — to fail.

BJ is now placed in the position of having to deliver on a combination of undeliverable campaign promises, made on behalf of a cause in which there are grounds for thinking he did not actually believe.

Moreover, she has split the task of negotiating British exit between a triumvirate who may well descend into insoluble conflict.

The resulting failure to arrive at a viable deal will have at least two effects. Firstly, it will render any revived hopes BJ may have of becoming Prime Minister unrealisable — and Mrs May's position thereby more secure.

Secondly, it will open the way for her to say: 'A team of three leading Brexiteers has failed to negotiate an arrangement that secures all the interests of the UK. It's time, therefore, to consider alternatives.' Which she will then define.
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