No matter what actual knowledge Boris Johnson ever really had on the whole Brexit thing – especially on the situation with the Irish border. He got what he wanted: to be the Prime Minister.

First published in August 2019.

During a visit to Northern Ireland, in February 2016, the then Mayor of London insisted in a BBC Northern Ireland interview that Brexit would not change a thing to the current arrangements on the Irish border.

“I think the situation would be absolutely unchanged... There’s been a free travel area between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland for, I think, getting on 100 years... There’s no reason why that should cease to be the case,” Johnson said.

Sure. The Irish border: the easiest thing to deal with in the Brexit negotiations...

How about the farmers in Northern Ireland? “I can certainly guarantee that they will be absolutely no worse off, in many ways better off, You would be able to target the subsidy and we would be getting money back from the EU that currently goes to Brussels and goes on heaven knows what.”

Sure. The NI farmers will definitely be better off outside the EU...

Boris Johnson, 29 February 2016. / BBC Northern Ireland

A couple of weeks earlier, the very Boris Johnson had written a piece for the Telegraph in which he said: “It is also true that the single market is of considerable value to many UK companies and consumers, and that leaving would cause at least some business uncertainty, while embroiling the Government for several years in a fiddly process of negotiating new arrangements, so diverting energy from the real problems of this country – low skills, low social mobility, low investment etc – that have nothing to do with Europe.”

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in on 11 August 2019. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Gif of Boris Johnson on BBC Northern Ireland.)