Analysis: Is Boris Johnson bluffing and what does a no-deal Brexit mean for Scottish independence
For all of his flag-waving, Brexit bluster and faux-Churchillian elocution, Boris Johnson has led a government that has delivered almost year-old rotten leftovers rather than his promised ‘oven-ready’ trade deal.
It is hard to know for certain whether the most recent addition to the Prime Minister’s long line of pessimistic statements on the chances of a deal with the European Union is another bluff with a deal just around the corner in December.
But as the clock continues to tick towards January 1, the lack of movement from the UK Government speaks of a communications strategy designed to steer the country gently towards accepting no deal as having been inevitable all along, which of course it wasn’t.
The EU will, of course, disagree with No.10. For them, the UK has done nothing but move the goalposts on certain issues while simultaneously steadfastly refusing to budge on EU own red lines.
For plenty within the EU, Britain emerging from protracted, interminable negotiations smelling anything close to roses would be a major disaster.
It is no secret the 2016 referendum was a shock to that union, and it is not in Macron, Merkel or Brussels’ best interests to give any other country a sniff of a brighter future outside.
The Prime Minister, while always publicly stating his preference for a deal, has done nothing to bring it close to reality.
It could just be that, given Covid-19’s ravaging of the economy, a no deal is everyone’s idea of a grubby, but politically advantageous solution to an accidental David Cameron disaster.
Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon continues to grumble about the march of Brexit.
"Deeply frustrating and depressing”, she said, adding the odd suggestion the SNP had paused their own push for sovereignty, a shock to anyone who read the Programme for Government or has followed the SNP’s internal strife over the speed of independence.
One thing is clear - a no-deal Brexit will shore up the growing and strengthening core support for indyref2.
Speaking to hopeful Holyrood SNP candidates, Europe is on the tip of the tongue for many urban voters and a negative outcome could swing some of the softer unionists across to nationalism.
Whether his intention or not, Boris Johnson’s own drive to break up one political union could easily bring about the end of his own.
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