Lashing out at the "Irish government’s stubborn position on Brexit"? The Northern Ireland backstop agreed by Prime Minister May and Europe will remain. Sorry "friends".
There was an extraordinary story in the U.K. Express last weekend. The headline was eye-catching.
It read: “Brexit revolt: Varadkar under pressure as furious Irish businesses demand deal with Boris.”
The Express is not a tabloid. It’s middle market and usually reasonably responsible on its reporting. I hadn’t seen this story anywhere else.
Whoa, I thought. Had the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), the powerful Irish group, gone offside on Brexit? If so, dangerous times for Irish solidarity.
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I read through the story fearing the worst, but it appeared to be an interview with a certain Lord Marland, who I’d never heard of, about Brexit.
So I Googled Marland and the first paragraph stated, “Jonathan Peter Marland, Baron Marland (born 14 August 1956) is a British businessman and politician, having served as Prime Minister's Trade Envoy, Minister for Energy and Climate Change and Business, Innovation and Skills, and Treasurer of the Conservative Party. He was awarded a life peerage on 8 June 2006 as Baron Marland, of Odstock in the County of Wiltshire. In December 2015, he was awarded the Order of Merit of Malta.”
His wife Lady Marland is High Sheriff of Wiltshire by the way.
But I digress.
Lord Marland told Radio 4’s The World This Weekend that “there was growing anger in Ireland directed at the Irish government’s stubborn position on Brexit.”
He said, “I think the only way a deal can be done now is if the EU comes back to the table with an alternative to what was offered in the first place, or to what Theresa May agreed to.
“I must say, as a businessman, I found it absolutely bewildering that the Irish are digging their heels in on the backstop.”
I have a funny feeling it wouldn’t take much to bewilder Lord Marland. The Irish wanting to keep the Northern Irish peace process safe by not allowing a physical border is clearly incomprehensible to him.
But where are all these complaining Irish businessmen promised in the headline?
Ah, here they are, finally, the bewildered and upset Irish businessmen. Marland stated, “As do, I should say, many of my Irish business friends.”
Lord Marland has Irish friends who he says don’t like the Irish government attitude to Brexit.
That’s the source of the Express screaming headline stating Irish business leaders are “furious” with Varadkar and his backstop policy.
Oh dear, Lord Marland, do you think it's time for the Irish to lie down like the croppies, tug the forelock like the peasantry, grateful to have the British direct us in the right way?
The problem is there are many Lord Marlands who are gone mad in recent months. Brexit has driven them insane, a riddle within a riddle, a tunnel that they follow to a tunnel of its own.
They have completely lost the plot. The backstop was agreed by former Prime Minister Theresa May and signed off on by the European Union.
The British bolted the stable door with a carrot and the horse ran off. The backstop will remain.
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