Fintan O'Toole: There is no good Brexit option for Johnson this weekend - only lesser evils

British premier can concede to the EU or foist pain on the most vulnerable

Boris Johnson has said Britain “will have a solution that's much more like an Australian relationship with the EU, than Canadian.” Australia, unlike Canada, has no comprehensive trade deal with the EU, leaving its trade mostly subject to tariffs.

Shortly before the Brexit referendum in 2016, Michael Gove made a joke about the Irish famine. As co-leader with Boris Johnson of the Leave campaign, he was giving a major set-piece speech, one of the very few that actually made some effort to describe what would happen if they won.

Gove was mocking the Remain side’s scare stories about the dark consequences of Brexit: “The City of London would become a ghost town, our manufacturing industries would be sanctioned more punitively than even communist North Korea, decades would pass before a single British Land Rover or Mr Kipling cake could ever again be sold in France and in the meantime our farmers would have been driven from the land by poverty worse than the Potato Famine”.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.