Sean Walsh highlights the fact that any part of the UK seeking customs partnership means that we will never truly be able to leave the EU.

Do you remember that bit in Pulp Fiction when John Travolta and Uma Thurman do the dance? It’s a pretty impressive performance but as you watch it you know a darker tale is taking place in the background narrative. One of betrayal, recrimination and casual (and impressive) reinvention of language. It all looks impressive, but you know that these people are deeply morally corrupt.

But they put on a good show. It’s aesthetically pleasing. Despite the hole in Travolta’s sock.

I’m no dance expert myself, being 52 (and not recently having attended a wedding), so I have a question. Is there a version of the “excuse me” in which a random, possibly blond and overweight, male comes up and demands to take over from the female, possibly scrawny and overwhelmed, lead?

Because this has to be a suspicion at the moment: that this whole Brexit saga has been a sort of dance, choreographed against a well-known tune, the sort of Do Ray Me Brexit. When you know the notes to sing, you can remain in anything.

Boris Johnson has inherited the dance sequence, from the Dancing Queen herself. He is “making shapes” according to the same tune. It’s not actually his fault. There is something about the Remainer virus that allows it to linger, like a spider in winter, in the warmest homes before it comes out to bite you. There are few more comfortably heated homes than 10 Downing Street.

The EU develops strategies not merely of democratic evasion, but of democratic sabotage. Having cultivated those strategies it injects its own sleeper cells into the real potency of the democracies it wishes to dissolve. I will not mention names. But I will mention, for example, the wonderful constituency of Beaconsfield.

The “backstop” protocols of Mrs May’s Treaty were inserted so that they could be dropped around about now. They were the Paul Daniels bit. A useful distraction from the real obnoxiousness of her proposals. This impertinence takes the  (absolutely stated) form of deeply embedded obligations to Remain, disguised in clever clauses. Read the rest of the Treaty (which is what it is, forget the word “deal”). Her “Withdrawal Agreement” the generation of a negotiating context, the parameters of which are defined by the “non-binding” (ha, ha) “Political Declaration”. What does that require? A future customs “partnership”. One which will oblige us to acquiesce in systems of constraint that will neutralise not just any trade agreement but the contemplation of any such possibility.

This will be a bit like one of those partnerships in which the brick comes through the window unless you agree the happily coincidental terms of a glazing agreement. 

There is no way of leaving the EU as an intact country when even part of the leaving country remains in the orbit of its aggressively teleological structures. The media -Remainer- class has developed a strategy of reducing centuries of genuine, intelligent and decent national feeling and calling it “the DUP”. The DUP represents all that but does not exhaust it. I am an Irish Catholic. The DUP speaks a version of nationalism and self-determination that I am able to live with. I don’t share their views but am sympathetic to their expression of them. Unlike the Beaconsfield types, it is articulated through the filters of genuine loss and real pain.

Northern Ireland deserves better than perpetual Remainer assessment. It is not the black sheep of the UK family. It is the part of it that is absolved from the complacency that has overtaken the rest of us. While there is a Unionist majority it would be wrong to offend against it and leave them behind. And if there isn’t such a majority then Mr Varadkar needs to ask himself this question: why did you allow your country’s interests to be assimilated to the aggressions of Barnier et al? You’ve been played.

We are in the “tunnel” bit of the negotiations, the part where the EU gets what it wants by the application of sleep deprivation. Our negotiators need to know this, as they place the matchsticks under the eyelids: that to allow the most faithful part of the UK to be ripped away from us because of the suave snake-oil brilliance of a former Minister for French agriculture would be disgusting.

Customs partnership equals membership.

Simple as that.



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