What stunning arrogance from a man who has been dubbed “George Useless”.
Environment Secretary George Eustice took to our airwaves to try to minimise the damage done by US President Joe Biden’s words on the Northern Ireland border and trade with the UK after Brexit – and made matters much, much worse.
Biden has expressed concern that peace in Northern Ireland could be jeopardised by the “Northern Ireland protocol” between the UK and the European Union, that regulates imports to and exports from the province.
It keeps Northern Ireland aligned with the EU’s single market for goods to ensure free trade across the Irish border, but has led to additional checks on goods being traded across the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which has drawn criticism and protests from unionist politicians in Northern Ireland who have called for it to be scrapped.
Boris Johnson swore to everybody who asked – before Brexit happened – that there would be no border checks between GB and NI… and it now seems clear that he was either lying or did not understand his own deal.
The UK has requested a fundamental renegotiation but the EU has refused – and with good reason. Boris Johnson was desperate to rush his Brexit into being, back in 2019, ensuring that many of his MPs did not understand what they were supporting. Any problem now is his responsibility and he will have to live with it – including any problems it creates with the USA.
Eustice turned up on TV and on the radio to suggest that Biden was “wrong” and had, himself, not properly read the details of the agreement that was negotiated, in a series of interviews that will make Boris Johnson’s current meetings with the US president much more difficult:
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) September 22, 2021
I think Environment Secretary George Eustice will be surprised just how well briefed Joe Biden is on the matter.
— Gordon McPhee (@Grumpy_Weegie) September 22, 2021
Eustice’s attitude was that this matter did not concern the US President…
Farming minister Eustice calling US administration stupid
The Northern Ireland protocol was too complicated for them to understand, apparently
Hardly the way to win friends and influence people
In fact, it was Tory MPs who didn’t understand Brexit dealpic.twitter.com/EY9g0eoWxw
— Green💚Molly (@GreenPartyMolly) September 22, 2021
… but that makes no sense at all when the UK is also trying to negotiate a two-way trade deal with the United States (over which Biden is, again, doubtful).
Eustice admitted, “It’s just not a priority for the US administration.”
And Boris Johnson has also said, “The Americans do negotiate very hard.”
It seems nothing has changed since former president Barack Obama said the UK would be at the back of the queue for a bilateral deal.
So of course the Johnson government has a Plan B, which is to join a trade bloc – like the one the UK has just spent five years leaving:
Morning Brexit people.
George Eustice says on @BBCr4today the UK is looking to join a Trade block (USA, Canasa & Mexico)
Because we are at the back of the queue for a bilateral deal
Know how you hate them – rules written by others that we have to abide by.
Want to tell them?
— John West 🕯💙 (@JohnWest_JAWS) September 22, 2021
So the situation is this:
If the UK doesn’t get a trade deal with the US because its deal to leave the EU has created problems in Northern Ireland, then Boris Johnson will try to talk the UK into a trading bloc like the EU.
So what was the point of the last five years of fuss and palaver?
In other news, Julia Hartley-Doodah tackled Eustice on the really important issues:
Boris Johnson has told ‘unjabbed Strictly dancers’ to get the Covid vaccine, with some calling for them to be fired from the show.
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) September 22, 2021
Wow. If only some of our political interviewers could be bothered to dissect the Tories as thoroughly on issues like Universal Credit, rising bills and – yes – Brexit!
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