James O'Brien dissects Boris Johnson's contradictory and "rambling" speech

8 November 2019, 11:52 | Updated: 8 November 2019, 12:35

James O'Brien dissects Boris Johnson's "rambling" speech which appears to contradict the government's Brexit position.

In his two minute speech, Mr Johnson also insisted that Northern Ireland have a great deal - because they get to keep all the benefits of membership of the European Union.

He said: "Actually Northern Ireland has got a great deal. You keep free movement, you keep access to the single market, but you also have, as it says in the deal, unfettered access to GB."

On reflection, James O'Brien commented: "I think Boris Johnson described staying in the single market and having free movement as a great deal."

"If being in the single market with freedom of movement is a great deal, no one's going suggest that losing those two attributes is better than having them. Did Boris Johnson unintentionally suggested that our current arrangements as European Union members are superior to the ones that he negotiated as the terms of our departure?"

James asked why he is attempting to persuade the rest of the United Kingdom to accept something less than great.

Mr Johnson also claimed there'd be no forms or checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

"If a truck pulls up at the Northern Irish part of Larne and in the truck you've got a washing machine made in Belfast, a washing machine made in Dublin and a washing machine made in Beijing, without any checks, paperwork and forms, how do you separate A from B and C?" James asked.

He said that it would any goods would be brought into Great Britain untrammelled.

As Boris Johnson described staying in the single market as a "great deal", surmised James, "so doing the opposite - leaving the single market and abolishing freedom of movement - must be the opposite of a great deal."

"I don't know that there is an alternative analysis," he said, and reiterated that this wasn't a question of being "Team Boris" or not, this is a request to listen to the actual spoken words the Prime Minister said in public and think about what he said single market membership and freedom of movement.