Thursday, 17 October 2019

To whom the rules apply

One of the unkind things which people do to politicians is drag up comments that they’ve made in the past to contrast them with what they’re doing or saying today (and sadly – for the politicians at any rate – it’s something that the internet has made a great deal easier).  Theresa May’s remarks, in relation to the idea of a customs and regulatory border in the Irish Sea that “no UK prime minster could ever agree to it” can never be expunged from the electronic record.  People have been naughtily pointing out that Boris Johnson also said, referring to the same thing, that “no British Conservative government could or should sign up to any such arrangement”.
The implication is that he is somehow now going back on what he said previously by negotiating precisely that.  This is unfair to the PM.  His comment only sought to tie the hands of a ‘Conservative’ government, but he removed that government from power in July.  Obviously, a Brexit PM cannot be bound by rules which only apply to Conservative leaders.

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