The hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic is once again back centre stage, now that Blondie and the band have driven a bus through respect for International Law.
But hang on a moment.
While those shameless rogues backslid unflushed down the diplomatic pan, the monopoly on charlatanical chicanery did not end at the gated entrance to Downing Street.
But first let us remind ourselves that, in order to protect the integrity of the UK’s internal market, the UK Government had initiated legislation that would breach an international treaty, namely the EU Withdrawal Agreement. No arguments her – it is a wholly dipshit move, based on a spurious rationale.
But let’s just take stock. It hadn’t contravened the Good Friday Agreement per se, had it? That would happen only if a hard border were to be put in place. And the UK isn’t proposing that at all – and nor is Ireland.
Sticking that one on Boris would be to punish the tit for the wrongdoings of the tat in a tit-for-tat. The only people to blame for a return to violence would surely be any re-activated dormant terrorists and/or anybody who had actually contravened the peace accord.
So, who would be pushing for a hard border if not the UK or Ireland?
Step forward our old buddies in EU, the masters of the egg-on and the dark arts of political backseat rally driving.
When the EU needed negotiating traction, Monsieur Barnier had his husky-voiced ‘bring out the gimp’ moment. And the gimp – that was sleeping – was the threat of the return of The Troubles.
It is the Eurocrats who have a serious hard-on for hard border folly. Remember the creased, foie gras Olympian and pro-league back slapper, Mr Juncker, who had previously uttered in this regard that a hard Brexit would necessitate a hard border because (and I quote):
‘We have to make sure that the interests of the European Union and the internal market will be preserved.’
Put simply, for EU politicians, restrictions and checks would be essential in the absence of a withdrawal agreement in order to protect the integrity of the single market so that it would not be exploited by non-EU members, and its internal quality standards neither tainted nor diluted.
So, within the context of the Good Friday Agreement & the Peace Process and in the current climate, two points become abundantly clear:
Firstly, the EU, when faced with a choice between the two, would in a heartbeat prioritise their internal market over peace.
Secondly, in imposing a hard border, the EU would be breaching international law, or at least compelling Ireland to do so.
And yes, that is precisely the shade currently being hurled at the UK Government by our continental chums. And so, the EUSSR indulges in some cake of their own (but please: no cherries).
Furthermore, a hard border under these circumstances would be no more ‘the consequences of Brexit’ – about which Juncker and the Chablis coterie love to harp on – as Brexit itself was the consequence of EU unreasonableness.
Supporters of Brexit may have been influenced by what they saw as an intractable EU. Those who say that a hard border is a necessity in the wake of a breached WA (and a hard Brexit) may blame the UK’s legal diablerie.
Yet both reflect unilateral decisions, nonetheless. Nobody forced the UK into Brexit, and nobody is forcing the EU to press for a hard border in Ireland. It is simply about the priorities that each party had and has.
None of this detracts from the woeful governance and decision-making of the UK Government, but the EU are very much playing the same game.
It’s all about the money, honey.
So, for the ordinary man in the street, peace process anxiety isn’t the principal concern. It’s that we are now even more over-bored with those going overboard on border bollocks simply as a means to achieve leverage in the quest for cash.
They almost deserve each other.