Thsi blogpost was written early on Tuesday Sept 10th
An article in the Times reports that David Frost, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiator, told Johnson that there was no hope of agreeing a new deal on the Irish backstop while uncertainty in parliament continues. According to the Times:
In a one-page memo to Mr Johnson and his chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, Mr Frost wrote that until there was clarity on the domestic front the European Union would not offer a renewed deal.
“The EU are not under pressure to agree alternative arrangements until they know the process will not be taken over by parliament,” he wrote. “Until then they will listen to us but avoid committing. Talks will only become serious when it’s a choice between deal or no deal.”
Frost’s comment on the opposition in Parliament to the Johnson approach to Brexit reminded me of when I first started thinking and writing about Brexit some two years ago. Then it seemed to me that if the UK was to “make Brexit work” three things were of fundamental importance.
- The government needed to develop a consensus in the UK about what Brexit meant, some form of widely-shared vision of what the UK outside the EU should look like.
- Resulting from one, negotiate a future deal with the EU that would minimise the impact of withdrawal on the UK economy and provide for a “good neighbour” relationship for the future
- Hope that geopolitical developments across the globe would fall favourable for a UK out of the EU, facilitating the conclusion of new trade deals which would open new export markets.