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Boris Johnson’s defence of Brexit was incoherent mush

If Boris Johnson genuinely wants to win round Remainers he will have to do better than his speech this morning.

I say genuinely, as it was debatable whether his target audience were those disheartened with the Brexit process or the Conservative Party members who elect the next leader.

This was a deeply defensive and deceptive speech.

The Foreign Secretary spent forty minutes admitting that Brexit had caused disquiet and there was genuine uncertainty about its future.

In a telling line he accepted that Brexit may not be an “economic panacea”.

Many of us are worried about the economic consequences of leaving.

Johnson seemed more concerned about the damage to his own reputation.

Having lashed himself to the mast of a ship sailing towards the rocks, he was now trying persuade his fellow crew members that if they keep smiling the shipwreck might not be as bad as feared.

It would be much better, he said, “if we get together and get behind this project.”

If the problem with Brexit was a lack of bubbly optimism then we might as well make Barbara Windsor the Foreign Secretary.

And many would argue she would do a better job than the current occupant.

There was the abundance of ornate language, off-colour jokes and Latin phrases we have come to expect from the grease-painted Foreign Secretary.

And all were deployed to distract or camouflage the refusal to confront any of the hard truths of Brexit.

There was no attempt to address the complexities of the Northern Ireland question.

He blithely assumed we would get a deal on aviation while lazily ignoring the European Aviation Safety Agency comes under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

At no point did Johnson explore what sort of trading arrangement will could have with the EU.

When pressed for details he waffled on about organic carrots.

It is not sufficient to say we can get by on goodwill and sunshine when negotiating Brexit requires a mastery of detail.

You struggle to see how Remainers would have been cajoled or encouraged by this speech.

Without an iota of shame he berated opponents for portraying Brexit as an act of petty nationalism, presumably forgetting he was part of a campaign which exploited fears about immigration and Turkish nationalism.

He claimed the economic benefits of being an member of the EU were not as “conspicious” as claimed despite his Government’s own analysis showing that whatever path of Brexit we choose will leave us worse off.

Of course, that did not prevent Johnson from repeating his promise there would be more money for the NHS.

Like Mr Micawber in David Copperfield, Johnson appears to think something will turn up.

We just need to have more confidence and self belief, he said as though you can grin and gurn your way to prosperity.

Source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnsons-defence-brexit-incoherent-12024706

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