It is very hard to believe what the UK government is saying today with regard to its planned renunciation of the EU Transition Agreement with regard to Northern Ireland. As the Guardian has reported:
Johnson’s spokesman defended the change on Wednesday, saying it was necessary clarification of an agreement that had been rushed through in January.
“The withdrawal agreement and the Northern Ireland protocol aren’t like any other treaty,” he said. “It was agreed at pace in the most challenging possible political circumstances to deliver on a clear political decision by the British people and with the clear, overriding purpose of protecting the special circumstances of Northern Ireland. It contains ambiguities and in key areas there is a lack of clarity.
“It was written on the assumption that subsequent agreements to clarify these aspects could be reached between us and the EU on the detail. And that may yet be possible and we continue to engage fully with the joint committee process. But as I said before, we cannot allow damaging default positions to kick in if we can’t agree.”
To be very polite, this is not just lying: whoever said this made a claim that they must have known to be flagrantly untrue.
The Northern Ireland backstop was not negotiated in a hurry: it was the result of three years of work.
And it was not meant to be replaced: it was a backstop meant to ensure that, come what may, in the event that no other deal could be reached this would endur.
To therefore claim that it was left all rather open and loose ended because another deal was expected is blatantly untrue: the backstop was always meant to last and it is that fact which is being blatantly lied about.
What is more, the whole purpose of the backstop was to ensure that there was continuing peace: to now claim it has to be over-ridden for that reason is once more grossly untrue.
I have been angry with politicians before now in my life. But maybe never as much as I am on this.
This work is not that of liars or scoundrels, because that is too polite a description. It’s the work of political scum.