Boris Johnson’s ‘oven-ready’ Brexit had a secret footnote: we’ll rehash it later | Fintan O’Toole

Suggesting Britain could sign the withdrawal agreement with its fingers crossed makes perfect sense for a government of liars

Everybody knows Boris Johnson can lie for England. To his supporters, it was one of his best assets. They believed he could bamboozle the European Union into giving him the only Brexit deal that is really acceptable – one that gives Britain all the advantages of being in the EU without any of the botheration of being a member. The problem is that congenital mendacity isn’t just for foreigners. If you lie for England, you will also lie to England.

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Suggesting Britain could sign the withdrawal agreement with its fingers crossed makes perfect sense for a government of liars

Everybody knows Boris Johnson can lie for England. To his supporters, it was one of his best assets. They believed he could bamboozle the European Union into giving him the only Brexit deal that is really acceptable – one that gives Britain all the advantages of being in the EU without any of the botheration of being a member. The problem is that congenital mendacity isn’t just for foreigners. If you lie for England, you will also lie to England.

This week, these two streams of fabrication finally became one. In openly admitting that it signed the withdrawal agreement with the EU in bad faith, Johnson’s Vote Leave government also implicitly confessed that it lied wholesale to the electorate in December’s general election. The cross-contamination of domestic politics by the deceit that is Brexit’s DNA is now complete.

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