Boris Johnson has told the EU that the Irish border backstop plan is undemocratic, merrily ignoring the fact that 56% of Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU.
The British Prime Minister is risking a hard Irish border on the basis that the backstop is ‘anti-democratic.’ This conveniently overlooks the fact that the majority of voters in Northern Ireland wish to remain in the EU and a hard border would be the ultimate rejection of the ‘will of the people’ who live either side of it.
Political Analyst Simon Williams explores the issues.
“Most people in Ireland want to avoid a hard border,” he said. “But the problems caused by Boris Johnson’s terrifyingly uninformed border policy certainly don’t end there.
“Boris says the backstop would weaken the Good Friday Agreement. I’m not sure what he thinks that is – probably something to do with promising not to open the chocolate eggs until Easter Day.
“A vital pillar of the British-Irish Agreement was absolute neutrality on the part of Westminster towards both nationalist and unionist perspectives – views which currently co-exist peacefully in Northern Ireland.
“By talking about ‘British sovereignty’ and presenting himself as the Prime Minister who will ‘save the Union’ Boris is – to be charitable – clumsily and ignorantly undermining decades of goodwill.
“A more cynical interpretation is that Johnson is wilfully and irresponsibly aiming for a hard border because his slender majority depends on the DUP – a party who want to be as close to the UK and as far from Ireland as possible.”
In a statement Boris said, “Look, the bloody border will be fine – we’ll just put up some CCTV or something.
“That will be more than enough to sustain the delicate truce that was achieved after a hundred years of political and religious conflict.
“Or whatever it is.”