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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Another Boris Johnson claim debunked

We all knew that Boris Johnson was talking nonsense of course, when he claimed that his deal with the EU would not include checks in the Irish Sea, so it is gratifying to be proved right by the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

He has confirmed to the European Parliament that there will be “checks and controls” between Britain and Northern Ireland under the agreement that will govern the UK’s exit from the EU, despite Boris Johnson falsely claiming several times during the general election campaign that there this would not be the case.

The Independent rather charitably suggests that the prime minister could have misunderstood the agreement he had signed. An alternative suggestion is that Johnson was lying to the public as the text of the deal signed in November is clear that there will indeed be checks:

“The implementation of this foresees checks and controls entering the island of Ireland,” Mr Barnier said during a sitting of the European Parliament.

“I look forward to constructive cooperation with British authorities to ensure that all provisions are respected and made operational.”

Mr Barnier had kept quiet during the UK general election campaign, telling anyone who asked him – even in private – that he did not want to say anything that could have political impact and undermine his Brexit deal.

Mr Johnson repeated his claim just on Monday, telling a press conference: “Be in no doubt. We are the government of the United Kingdom. I cannot see any circumstances whatever in which they will be any need for checks on goods going from Northern Ireland to GB.

“The only circumstances in which you could imagine the need for checks coming from GB to NI, as I’ve explained before, is if those goods were going on into Ireland and we had not secured, which I hope and I’m confident we will, a zero-tariff, zero-quota agreement with our friends and partners in the EU.”

During the election campaign he was even more emphatic, saying: “We will make sure that businesses face no extra costs and no checks for stuff being exported from NI to GB.”

Yet more misleading information from the Prime Minister. In fact I have a suggestion: instead of fundraising to allow Big Ben to mark the 31st January point of no return, why don't we use any money raised to have the bell toll whenever Johnson is caught out in a lie of a misleading statement?
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