The Talking Point: Boris’ Brexit Bluff

(Title Image: BBC)

This feature is supposed to focus on Welsh politics, but if there’s one UK-wide issue that’s going to continually and unavoidably eat up quite a bit of time, space and sanity it’s, of course, Brexit.

With less than 18 months left until a deal between the UK and EU needs to be finalised (if there’s going to be any deal at all), the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, made an “intervention” on Brexit, outlining a vision for a post-Brexit UK that effectively repeats some of the claims – even outright lies – made by the Leave campaign in 2016.

There’s more than a little element of frustration with how the process is being handled and, as many others have interpreted, perhaps the possible “I’m not like the rest of them” pre-match banter before a leadership bid.

If anyone thought Brexit would be as simple as sending a letter to the EU saying “We’re off” and it all being done and dusted in a few months then this politics stuff might be above your head. Stay in school, kids.

A second referendum wouldn’t be much use and the original result has to be accepted. Those in charge should just get on with it and try and secure the best deal possible with give and take either way.

The big problem here is that it isn’t happening.

All but the staunchest Tory Brexiteers (nothing but a return of the Empire would satisfy UKIP) will need to accept the UK Government are making a complete and utter dog’s dinner of the process. They had no plan before going into the negotiations and have nothing to bring to the table.

The EU is, at present, running rings around them….and by “them” I mean “us”. All of us.

Accuse me of bias all you want – and I’m not exactly prone to showering Cathays Park with praise – but the Welsh (and Scottish) Government stance on this is far clearer, far more practical and still upholds the referendum result.

My only criticism is that as neither Welsh Labour or the SNP actually have the responsibility of negotiating this, they have the convenience of being able to say whatever they like on the topic.

We’re currently sleepwalking towards a “worst of all worlds” situation where we have to pay a sizable Brexit bill but fail to secure favourable trade deals with the EU, all because the UK Government seems to think it can have its cake and eat it based on absolutely nothing but the Ghost of Global Influence Past.

Boris Johnson’s clown act is exactly that – an act. He’s no idiot and can see this too. By being fired as Foreign Secretary (which seems inevitable at some point in the future), he can sit back and watch the chaos before sweeping in and taking what he’s always wanted – Number 10. He also won’t be directly associated with the current mess due to the outbursts in an, “I told you so” manner.

The trouble with that is that people who want a leadership position and will do their damnedest to get it or get it because they know the right people or are seen as a protege – instead of achieving it on merit – usually make the worst leaders.