Boris Johnson: Irish border ‘tail wagging the dog’ over Brexit

The UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said the difficulties in Brexit negotiations caused by concerns over the future of the Irish border are an example of “the tail wagging the dog”.

In a “leaked recording” published on the Buzzfeed News website, the former London Mayor said fears of disruption caused by Brexit were “mumbo jumbo.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pictured during a meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney at Iveagh House in Dublin. Picture date: Friday November 17, 2017.. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pictured during a meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney at Iveagh House in Dublin. Picture date: Friday November 17, 2017.. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Mr Johnson said: “What they don’t want is friction at the borders. They don’t want any disruption of the economy. So they’re sacrificing all the medium and long-term gains out of fear of short-term disruption. Do you see what I’m saying? The fear of short-term disruption has become so huge in people’s minds that they’ve turned into a quivering wreck.”

“They’re terrified of this nonsense,” he continued. “It’s mumbo jumbo.”

On the Irish border specifically, Mr Johnson said: “It’s so small and there are so few firms that actually use that border regularly, it’s just beyond belief that we’re allowing the tail to wag the dog in this way. We’re allowing the whole of our agenda to be dictated by this folly.”