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In Ireland, Leo Varadker is being given a lot of credit for maintaining a hard line on the Irish Border, which eventually forced Boris Johnson to concede a "border down the Irish sea" in their talks at Thornton Manor outside Liverpool.

However in my view the real turning point was the Merkel Johnson phone call some days earlier where Merkel effectively told Johnson that N. Ireland would never be allowed to leave the CUSM thereby creating a hard border within Ireland.

Downing Street leaked the contents of the call, describing it as "a hugely clarifying moment", perhaps thinking it would provoke outrage in Britain at Germany's dictatorial attitude. When no outrage (beyond the DUP) materialised, Johnson promptly caved in his talks with Varadker paving a way for the deal to be agreed at the EU summit some days later.

And still there is no outrage outside the realms of the DUP, whom Johnson has sought to mollify and confuse by flatly contradicting the contents of his own deal. But no one in N. Ireland is in any doubt that Johnson sold the DUP down the river by agreeing what "No UK Prime Minister" would ever agree to.

The DUP basically over-played its hand by voting against May's deal, thereby encouraging a lot of ERG members to do likewise. This may or may not have immediate repercussions for them at the polls despite attempts to bolster unionist solidarity by saying only a strong DUP representation in Westminster can stop the deal going through.

But bethinks, that horse has bolted, regardless of whether or not Boris wins. Any deal negotiated by Labour will include the same provisions. Logically unionists should now be campaigning on a Remain platform as the only way of preventing a border down the Irish sea.

But of course they won't. Logic was never their strong point and admitting they could ever be wrong is an absolute no-no. No Surrender!

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 10th, 2019 at 07:09:44 PM EST

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