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Johnson is sitting on the throne, but the ERG and DUP are his sword of Damocles

Like Damocles, Boris Johnson hungered for the throne, but now he has found the ERG and DUP suspended above his head, says Deidre Brock, SNP spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The rogue prorogue that never was, the cunning plan that broke, the dodgy deals that never flew, the border posts bad joke.

 

This Brexit farce is trundling on, tiring people who just want to come out the other end and have a look at the new lay of the land, and others who just want it to stop.

 

But far too many people’s lives and livelihoods are at risk.

 

We’ve just heard a deal has been struck with the EU that Parliament will consider this week.

 

We might not even end up getting it through, though, and leaving the EU without the beginnings of a new relationship in place would be disastrous.

 

Red tape

 

Getting products to EU markets from our food producers will become far more difficult. Red tape will increase, costs will multiply and problems will mount.

 

There aren’t enough vets to authorise the export health certificates we’ll need and there will have to be one for each shipment, for example.

 

The export customer will have to inform the appropriate customs post of the shipment before it arrives in many cases – adding a layer of complication we never had before.

 

Tariffs will make some exports unviable while the proposed import tariffs will undercut our producers.

 

The layers of farce which have marked Brexit up to now are shaping up to be just an appetiser for the chaos to come – and that’s just what we know of so far.

 

Over

 

The worst of it might be some people think it will be over after Halloween.

 

It’s just the start. Deal or no deal, leaving the EU is when the negotiations start, the much-touted deal is just for the transition period while the new relationship is negotiated.

 

With a deal, there’s a couple of years’ grace while the UK negotiates the future relationship with the EU. Without a deal there’s just the negotiation.

 

Some side deals are done which will give a little relief here and there, but not many and they don’t cover much.

 

The Prime Minister is stuck, jammed fast by his past actions and the deals he did to get into Downing Street.

 

Suspended

 

Like Damocles, he hungered for the throne, but found the ERG’s Mark Francois and DUP’s Arlene Foster suspended above his head. He’d better hope that horsehair holds.

 

I’m not worried about Mr Johnson, though, it’s the damage he’ll do to others as he blunders on and breaks everything in his path I’m concerned about.

 

This looming catastrophe is made worse by his naked ambition and lack of concern. Though the fault will lie in Downing Street, the cost will weigh on others.

 

The coming few days could break businesses and families, and politicians should be treading carefully.

 

Deidre can be found tweeting at @DeidreBrock

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