Brexit: Boris Johnson’s determined to shoot the UK in both feet – Angus Robertson

Project Fear has become Project Reality when it comes to Brexit Britain rather than independent Scotland – as the Operation Yellowhammer revelations prove, says Angus Robertson

Monday, 19th August 2019, 4:59 pm
Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to blame the nasty Europeans for Britains act of self-harm, says Angus Robertson. Picture: AP

Remember during the independence ­referendum debate in 2014 when ­Scotland heard grim warnings about the consequences of becoming a sovereign state? Voters in Scotland were told they should vote No because there would be negative economic and financial consequences if they didn’t. They were warned Scotland had to vote No, ­otherwise there would be problems with the border. People in Scotland were threatened that if they didn’t vote No they would be outside the ­EU.

How bizarre that within a few short years the tables have turned and Scotland faces all of these things by actually having voted No to Scottish independence. It is the ultimate con job. With little positive to say in 2014, the Better Together campaign spent its time developing Project Fear to scare people into not supporting Scottish independence. The term was invented by their campaign director Blair McDougall, who, by-the-by, was laughing off the prospects of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister. Now Project Fear has become Project Reality when it comes to Brexit Britain rather than independent Scotland.

How do we know this? Because the UK Government’s own internal ­planning documents have been leaked to the media. Operation Yellowhammer is the Whitehall code for their no-deal Brexit planning if Britain crashes out of the European Union on 31 October.

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According to the UK government’s own assessment, there will be ­problems with food supplies, fuel distribution, medical supplies, travel and trade ­disruption, and rising costs will hit social care providers. Potential civil unrest is predicted as are clashes between fishing vessels.

A senior Whitehall source has been quoted as saying: “This is not Project Fear – this is the most realistic assessment of what the public face with no deal. These are likely, basic, reasonable scenarios – not the worst case.” The mind boggles. If this isn’t the worst case, what is?

Boris Johnson is visiting European capitals this week, not to negotiate, not so seek a comprise, not to avoid a hard Brexit, but to deliver an ultimatum. Unless European leaders deliver the undeliverable, BoJo is going to shoot the UK in both feet. Then he plans to blame the nasty Europeans for ­Britain’s Brexit self-harm.

God knows what Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron are going to make of the Boris pantomime roadshow. No doubt they and other EU states are going to continue to stand up for ­Ireland, a concept which is entirely foreign in London. Meanwhile, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has threatened that no US-UK trade treaty will get through Congress if it damages peace in Ireland.While Rome burns and BoJo is pouring on the petrol, the UK parliament is on recess and MPs can’t agree how to block no-deal Brexit.

Newly-elected Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has quickly adopted a hectoring tone to busily order larger opposition parties around. Instead of doing the sensible thing and hold private ­discussions to co-ordinate strategies and options, she prefers the megaphone and the sound of her own voice.

Time is fast running out for opponents of a no-deal Brexit to work together across the parties in the House of Commons. History will not judge those kindly who prefer political parlour games.