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Boris Johnson has been playing hardball with the EU from the outset — if only Theresa May had too

HERE’S the terrible irony. Boris Johnson is now doing with Brexit exactly what should have been done three years ago. If only we could have our time over again!

First, he’s making the threat of No Deal serious. With Theresa May, it never was. Brussels knew she didn’t even want to leave, never mind with No Deal.

And whenever No Deal was threatened there would always be some helpful soul in her Cabinet to say . . . “That will never happen.”  People such as the treacherous Philip Hammond.

Not any more. Second, he’s shaking up the civil service a bit.  It was civil servants who did most of the negotiating — and they are all wildly pro Remain.

But with Boris’s adviser Dominic Cummings wielding the stick they might just be a little more amenable than before.

Third — he’s realised that the bloody Northern Ireland backstop was never anywhere near so serious an impediment as the Remainers (and the Irish) claimed.

And fourth, and maybe most importantly, he’s leading the country with a sense of optimism and chutzpah.

BUMPY ROAD

Of course it’s Boris, so he may well do something totally bonkers and wreck the process. But so far he’s got everything right.

He hasn’t got long to sort out a deal, the days are counting down. But my guess is that he WILL get one.

The EU likes to talk a hard game but it usually budges in the end. It is desperate to avoid No Deal.

And if it doesn’t budge — fine. A bumpy road for a few weeks and we’ll be OK, better off than ever. And free. The big threat to Brexit is not the EU — it’s our Parliament, once again.

The Labour Party has ditched all semblance of principle and is now for a second referendum.

Worse, Boris has a majority of only one. That’s not his fault — blame Theresa May for calling an election two years ago.

It looks to me that if Magic Grandpa Jeremy Corbyn calls a vote of no confidence, he will probably win.

Labour is already cosying up to the Scottish Nationalists and saying they wouldn’t mind a second referendum on independence.

There is now nothing Labour wouldn’t do to gain power. Destroy the union and scupper Brexit — Magic Grandpa doesn’t care.

But if this whole thing ends with Labour des- troying Brexit, the party will never be trusted again.

PLAY HARDBALL

Oh sure, it will still get the votes from the metropolitan, middle-class lefties. But its working-class base will desert it, for good.

So the message for Magic Grandpa is very clear. Win your vote of confidence, lose your voters. He’s not the brightest of men, but I do hope he grasps this.

And Boris? Keep straight ahead. Play as hardball as possible with Brussels, knowing they want a deal. Strike as many deals with the likes of the USA and Canada as possible.

And remind Brussels that if we walk away without a deal, they don’t get a single penny from us. That should help to concentrate their minds for a while.
But hell, I still wish Theresa May had taken this approach from the outset. But her heart was never in it, was it?

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