‘F**k business’ means ‘f**k workers’ and ‘f**k NHS’, Boris

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 25.06.2018

Boris Johnson warns of a “bog roll Brexit” – one that is “soft, yielding and seemingly infinitely long”. But that’s the only Brexit on offer apart from his f**k-us-all no deal alternative.

When asked about the impact of Brexit on business at a diplomatic reception, the foreign secretary told an ambassador “f**k business”, according to the Telegraph.

F**king business means f**king workers. Airbus, which warned last week it could pull out of the country if we quit the EU with no deal, alone employs 14,000 people here – with another 110,000 working for its suppliers.

F**king business also means f**king the NHS and other public services. We won’t have the money to pay for them.

Johnson should have painted “F**k business, f**k workers and f**k the NHS” on the side of his bus.

The foreign secretary’s frustration with the bog roll Brexit is understandable. Almost three years to quit the EU; almost two years of transition to cushion the blow; then a “backstop”, a sort of second transition period, that goes on and on and on.

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During this unending backstop, we’d probably follow EU rules and pay into its budget without a vote. It’s what the foreign secretary used to call a “vassal state”.

The technical name for the backstop is a Customs and Regulatory Alignment Period (CRAP). We’d certainly need Johnson’s bog roll to clean up.

The problem is that quitting with no deal would be even worse. We would see “shortages of medicine, fuel and food within a fortnight”, as trade grinds to a halt. We are not ready to launch an independent customs system, and we have no agencies standing ready to take over the roles performed by the EU.

The foreign secretary’s comments have provoked a row inside the government. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, gave Johnson partial cover – saying threats from Airbus were inappropriate and companies should “get behind” Theresa May.

Businesses shouldn’t be cowed by such bullying. Companies don’t just have a right to speak up about the dangers ahead. They have a duty to do so.

Johnson’s and Hunt’s attacks were slammed as “unworthy and inflammatory” by a junior defence minister. Meanwhile, Downing Street distanced itself from Hunt’s remarks, saying the prime minister saw “engagement with business as a critical part of getting a good deal”.

The problem is there is no good Brexit. To give Johnson his due, he is correct when he points out that being “half in and half out” with “no more ministers round the table… yet forced to obey EU laws” would be a terrible outcome. Far from taking back control, we would lose control.

The only rational option is to negotiate a bog roll Brexit and put that to a People’s Vote – giving people the chance to stay in the EU if they don’t like the deal. If Johnson was honest, this is what he would be pushing for.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

11 Responses to “‘F**k business’ means ‘f**k workers’ and ‘f**k NHS’, Boris”

  • To be charitable to Boris, he may regard his F*** Business comment as a clever negotiating tactic for the direction of EU negotiators’ ears. His problem is that it relies on the assumption that the British public are stupid enough to agree with him, in other words they don’t care about business, trade, jobs and our economic welfare.
    However, the EU negotiators know, as we know, that whilst many are stubborn, the vast majority of the British public are not stupid.
    It was a very revealing comment though from one of Brexit’s leading protagonists, when even he realises, he has run out of economic arguments based on logic and common sense.

  • Johnson has in effect joined what I call the extreme free traders, whose guru is Professor Patrick Minford of Cardiff University. The theory is that giving full reign to the lowest price provider anywhere in the world – whatever the wages or conditions of workers – would reduce prices. But what would that do to our industry and our workers? Here are quotes from Minford, made before the EU referendum –

    “Over time, if we left the EU, it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing, leaving mainly industries such as design, marketing and hi-tech. But this shouldn’t scare us.

    “Around half of young adults now go to university, ending up in professions such as finance or law, while the making of things such as car parts or carpentry has hugely shrunk — but there will always be jobs for people without sophisticated skills.

    “Of course leaving the EU will be difficult, and something that needs careful negotiation, but we must completely withdraw to gain these benefits.”

    “It is perfectly true that if you remove protection of the sort that has been given particularly to the car industry and other manufacturing industries inside the protective wall, you will have a change in the situation facing that industry, and you are going to have to run it down. It will be in your interests to do it, just as in the same way we ran down the coal and steel industries. These things happen as evolution takes place in your economy.”

    This could perhaps be regarded as a more polite way of saying “F***business.”

  • A few days ago Jeremy Hunt was speaking in support of whistle blowers in the NHS but he is now accusing Airbus of “threats” because it has called out (or whistle blown about) the disaster that Brexit will be for industry and jobs.
    Come on Jeremy, we are not fooled.

  • I assume Boris is also saying f***k the Northern Irish. I wonder what the DUP would say about that.

    Since the beginning, the government seems to have ignored the problem of N. Ireland but it has been obvious since experts appearing in front a parliamentary committee not long after the referendum said that they could see no way of reconciling having no hard border with leaving the EU.I wonder what the DUP will say about the success of Brexit meaning a hard border with the possibility of a return of the Troubles

  • ” EU negotiators know, as we know, that whilst many are stubborn, the vast majority of the British public are not stupid. ”

    I’m not sure they do know that. Alex. After all, we voted for Brexit

  • Mr. Dixon, you under-estimate the Foreign Secretary. With his penchant for Anglo-saxon monosyllables like “bog” and “fuck” he is fast approaching the Churchillian heights of “Blood, toil, tears and sweat”.

  • Not only did Eton teach Johnson Latin, but it seems he also learnt to be a loud, foul-mouthed and arrogant slob.

  • Fat Boris, and the Horseman of the Brexit Apocalypse, simply don’t care. These faux patriots don’t care about the national interest, the economy, industry, business, universities, the NHS etc. They are quite prepared to rule over a wasteland because they can then impose their executive dictatorship and destroy the social state and the rights-based society, and bring in a version of Pinochet’s Chile. Brexit is a reactionary and proto-fascist project and we need to wake up to the fact that a coup d’etat has been underway since June ’16. The brexiteers have taken a wrecking-ball to the Constitution (such as it is) and brexit confirms what I, as a lecturer in Constitutional Law, have long maintained, that the archaic British Constitution is unfit for modern times. We cannot continue to muddle through with a system that basically boils down to MPs doing what they want, when they want. And Fat Boris, give it up, you’re a busted flush; as the worst FS in living memory and your in-your-face overweening personal ambition, you have as much chance of becoming a future PM as I have of becoming the next Patriarch of Antioch. Far Boris for Governor of the Pitcairn Islands!