Is Boris Johnson a man of detail? The Tory leadership frontrunner certainly gave the impression of being one when he revealed his Brexit plan to Andrew Neil. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before he became somewhat unstuck.
Boris claimed that in the event of a no-deal Brexit it ‘might be possible…that both sides agree to a standstill’ in order to prevent tariffs being imposed. He pointed to paragraph 5B of GATT to make his point. But did he know what was in the following paragraph?
“Do you know what’s in paragraph 5c?”
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) July 12, 2019
Here is how their exchange unfolded:
AN: So how would you handle – you talk about Article 5B in GATT 24 –
BJ: Paragraph 5B. Article 24. Get the detail right. Get the detail right, Andrew. It’s Article 24 paragraph 5B.
AN: And how would you handle paragraph 5C?
BJ: I would confide entirely in paragraph 5B, because that is –
AN: How would you get round what’s in 5C?
BJ: I would confide entirely in paragraph 5B which is enough for our purposes.
AN: Do you know what’s in 5C?
Oh dear. Mr S thinks it might be wise for Boris not to call on others to ‘get the detail right’ until he brushes up himself…