That somehow, being rejected by the EU, USA and others around the world won’t turn us into the geopolitical equivalent of Dumb and Dumber.
If we act as China does over Hong Kong or as Iran does over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe things will be just fine. It’ll also be alright if we play tough and ignore the two most powerful women in the world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and USA House of Representatives Speaker and Virtual G7 Host Nancy Pelosi.
The damage done to the UK at a time when it most needs friends around the world has been described by former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox as ‘unconscionable’, the tub-thumper who was avowedly pro-Brexit. Former Conservative and Labour Prime Ministers have joined the dissenting voices as people distance themselves from the Johnson-Cummings-Gove shenanigans that would see us break international law.
The trouble is, last minute stand-offs and being provocative is what this Government and those at its heart do best. All the while, they avoid the crucial detail and display weapons grade incompetence. From unlawfully proroguing Parliament to withdrawing the whip from their own MPs, from getting it wrong over Covid to messing up school exams.
When there are months and months and months in which to plan, the Government leaves it to the last minute and blames someone else when it realises it’s made a Horlicks, as fans of the original malt drink might say.
Arguably, the Government’s greatest skill has been in persuading us they know what they’re doing; that they have an evil plan that will win the day. As each new controversy shows, however, the opposite seems true.
While they were aware of the Northern Ireland/Ireland issue at the start of the year, they failed to act. Rather, BoJo told us all what a great deal he’d got, when, in fact, it appears he hadn’t read it.
Still, as test and trace descends into fiasco with too few tests available – again, we’ve had all summer to plan – as 4.5 million residents are in danger of being forced to shield, and as doctors warn we have just days to sort it out, it seems like a holiday might be in order. I hear Barnard Castle is lovely at this time of year. And besides, I really need an eye test.