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Smug bully: Priti Patel.

Was there ever anyone uglier than Priti Patel?

This woman – who was forced to resign from a Cabinet post because she was trying to run her own foreign policy, independent of the government – has suggested blackmailing Ireland with the threat of food shortages if the EU doesn’t drop its demand for a border “backstop” position; a guarantee that there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland.

A government report has suggested that the economic impact on Ireland could be worse than in the UK if there is a no-deal Brexit, meaning there could be food shortages in that country reminiscent of the famine in the 1840s that killed a million Irish people.

More than half the food that goes to Ireland is exported from the UK. According to the government’s report, a no-deal Brexit would hit Ireland harder than the UK, with a seven per cent drop in GDP for the republic compared with a five per cent fall in the UK.

The Times has reported that Ms Patel said these warnings should have been used to “encourage” (read: blackmail) Ireland to drop the demand for a border backstop.

She has since claimed that her comments have been “taken out of context” (although it is hard to see how).

Condemnation has been – as far as I can tell – universal:

Worse still, it seems the government report was inaccurate about whose imports would be harmed the most:

That’s right – starving Ireland would starve the UK too.

But that’s of no importance to smug-faced Ms Patel.

She’s not interested in facts, which is why there would be no point in explaining the 19th century Irish famine, and the effect on it of the Tory government of the time, to her.

She doesn’t care if people suffer because she knows she won’t be one of them.

She just saw a chance to bully other people and took it, because that’s what she likes to do. She really is that small-minded and mean-spirited.

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