His bullying of Jersey is unacceptable, but the embattled president has reason to fight and plenty of leverage.
The Foreign Secretary contends that by forming an aspirational coalition the Conservatives can gain votes in the North without losing support in the South.
Like his most witty and nimble predecessor, Disraeli, Johnson finds that a majority is always better than the best repartee.
As of Churchill, so perhaps of Johnson: “it was the nation…that had the lion’s heart …I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.”
For the UK, it would say: “we are leaving and want to make our own rules.” For the EU, it would say: “don’t think leaving the EU is easy”.
The Political Declaration approves non-regression but not dynamic alignment – elements of which the EU has backed off from.
If no good deal comes and No Deal happens, the option of a return to EU membership is no longer on the table.
Even the cut-off point of the end of transition, and the arrival of No Deal, won’t necessarily halt the negotiation.
The UK itself would not dream of changing its formal negotiating objectives at such a crucial point in the talks. Why would the EU?
The commonsense presumption must be that he wouldn’t be going at all were a deal not at least possible.
Macron has been steadfast in his belief that the EU should stand firm on access to UK waters. He may be forced to compromise, however.
The Government should be mulling some quick Brexit wins come the New Year – ways of using freedoms that we don’t have during implementation.
All eyes will be on Emmanuel Macron this week, since France has been most prepared to play hardball.
How plausible is it that the UK would zealously enforce EU rules in a scenario in which trade agreement talks have broken down acrimoniously?
In a shrewd and largely instinctive way, they have sussed that Britain faces an ill-disposed negotiating partner making unreasonable demands.