Hywel Williams MP, Plaid Cymru Brexit Spokesperson
As we enter the most intensive round of the Brexit blame game, we must remember one thing: the only reason Boris Johnson hasn’t got a deal is that he never even tried to get one.
This week’s blame game narrative is not new, but has been carefully crafted over years in order to absolve responsibility from those who have driven the Brexit process from the beginning.
Years before the Vote Leave campaign was even launched, Boris Johnson and his accomplices cynically, shamelessly and routinely lied about what EU membership meant and what would happen if we gave it up, from lies about rules on the shape of bananas to more sinister fabrications about the creation of an EU superstate.
During the campaign, the lies intensified, infamously promising an extra £350 million pounds to the NHS, as well as foolishly claiming that the negotiations would be “the easiest deal in human history”.
The Brexit wreckers have always treated this process as a game, and over time, it has only become clearer that it would turn into a dangerous blame game.
During his Tory leadership election campaign, Johnson argued that no-deal would only happen if “Brussels refuses any further negotiation”, planting the initial seed for his ultimate evasion of responsibility.
Now that he is Prime Minister, despite achieving a 100% loss-rate in Parliament, then orchestrating a five-week prorogation in order to dodge scrutiny – misleading the Queen and breaking the law – he incredibly still refuses to take any responsibility.
He spent weeks pretending to negotiate, claiming he was seeking a better deal but sending no proposals.
Once he finally cobbled together a few words that vaguely resembled a solution, they contained ideas that had already been roundly rejected by the European Union. Instead of creating one hard border, he wants to create two!
He strives to present his fundamentally unworkable proposal as a compromise, but it’s nothing of the sort. Johnson still seeks to rip Wales out of the Single Market and Customs Union, with all that entails for our farming sector, our manufacturing sector, and for our rights.
His latest suggestion solves none of the problems that creating a hard border in the Irish Sea will cause for Wales and Ireland.
As the Benn Act has effectively made a no-deal illegal – at least at the end of this month – Boris Johnson is now refusing to work with the EU and is instead using EU officials and head of Member States as scapegoats to mask his inactivity in reaching a deal, which would result in the UK crashing out of the EU making the situation in Ireland particularly volatile.
His divisive agenda was made clear by the aggressive way the correspondence between Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel was portrayed.
The leaked source aimed to present the German Chancellor as being uncooperative by suggesting the only way to break the deadlock is for Northern Ireland to stay in the customs union and for it to permanently accept EU single market rules on trade in goods.
Of course, Johnson and his advisors know that this has always been the case, as leaving the Single Market and Customs Union is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement. But due to their complete lack of humility, they instead seek to blame somebody else.
But let’s be clear – by insisting on ignoring the Benn Act and refusing to seek an extension, the blame for a crash-out no deal would fall squarely on the shoulders of Boris Johnson and no one else.
Those who have been on the inside of Government know it to be true. Amber Rudd, the Former Tory Cabinet Minister and now independent MP, revealed in her resignation letter that she “no longer believes leaving with a deal is the Government’s main objective.”
This is a shocking electoral strategy made by Johnson which only seeks to drum up more anger towards the EU, courts, and Parliament sacrificing peace and stability for political point-scoring.
This handling of Brexit is completely unacceptable. The Prime Minister has been unclear and has shown a complete lack of integrity in his leadership during the greatest political crisis since the Second World War.
He is ready to throw anyone and everyone under a bus – regardless of what written on its side – including his, and my, constituents. If the Prime Minister wants a no-deal Brexit he should muster whatever little courage and moral responsibility he may have and accept the dire repercussions of his actions.
We will not be fooled, if we crash out of the EU, it will not be the fault of the courts, Parliament or any other institution he may blame, but at the hands of the Prime Minister himself.