Boris Johnson's comments on the Irish border show he's learned absolutely nothing 11 months ago

Boris Johnson's comments on the Irish border show he's learned absolutely nothing

Same old story.

Boris Johnson has said that if he is made Prime Minister, he will need EU co-operation to avoid a hard border and devastating tariffs in the event of the UK leaving without a deal.

In an exclusive interview with the BBC, the former foreign secretary criticised the UK negotiating team for creating the backstop to prevent a hard border in Ireland, saying that in doing so, the UK became "authors of our own incarceration".

Johnson insisted in his interview with BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg that it would be possible to broker a new deal between the UK and EU before the October deadline.

He said the current deal negotiated by Theresa May is dead but said the "politics has changed so much since 29 March" that he would be able to negotiate a new deal.

"I think on both sides of the Channel there's a really different understanding of what is needed," Johnson said.

Continuing on the topic of the Irish border, Johnson said there is no one solution to the border checks that a no-deal would necessitate, but rather he said there was "abundant, abundant technical fixes" that could be made to avoid border checks.

Here's the problem

The EU has repeatedly said that there will be no renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement, and all members have been very clear on it.

All of the above has been said in the last month or so - imagine how many more times it's been said over the past year - so it's pretty easy to see why frustration is growing at the stance of Johnson and others.

On the issue of the "abundant technical fixes", meanwhile, this line has been used repeatedly by Johnson when discussing the border, and he even compared it to the congestion charge in London.

The former Foreign Secretary said "there's no border between Camden and Westminster" as he suggested that goods crossing between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland could be subject to electronic checks, in what was an apparent reference to the congestion charge.

Norway and Sweden (the EU's longest land border) have one of the most technologically advanced borders in the world, which is necessitated because Norway is not in the EU, but is a member of the single market, and Sweden is in the EU.

Through a sophisticated computer system, goods are declared to customs before leaving warehouses and number recognition software is used to allow cars through unmanned border posts.

However, lorries are still stopped at staffed crossing points for physical customs checks, which means it is not a frictionless border. There are still physical checks for goods which take about 20 minutes as there are certain goods which require physical checks when entering the EU single market.

Johnson's comments on the renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement and a technological solution to the border issue show that it's been three years since the UK voted for Brexit, and Boris has learned nothing.