David McWilliams: Boris Johnson is like an incompetent kidnapper taking Ireland hostage
The Brexit long game is glaringly obvious and is the one on which we must concentrate
British prime minister Boris Johnson is making great play of the bunker mentality. But, ultimately, the UK will have to cut a trade deal with the EU. Photograph: Simon Dawson/EPA
The Brexit saga has become a bizarre hostage situation: Boris Johnson is the kidnapper, the ransom is the backstop and Ireland is the hostage. Johnson is demanding the EU drop the backstop or he will shoot the hostage. We’ve been here before. Traditionally, the mantra has been: “We never negotiate with terrorists.” Let’s see what happens.
We all appreciate the notion that if we reward bad behaviour, a kidnapper will resort to intimidation again. The European Union has a choice to make. Ireland will survive this. It might well be convulsive but the economy is strong enough, just. And then what?