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Boris prepares to flit from fact to fiction on the North's Brexit deal

Richard Curran


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Crunch talks: UK prime minister Boris Johnson could yet look to get around Northern Irish border checks

Crunch talks: UK prime minister Boris Johnson could yet look to get around Northern Irish border checks

Crunch talks: UK prime minister Boris Johnson could yet look to get around Northern Irish border checks

Of all the bizarre and colourful things British prime minister Boris Johnson has said over the years, from the Brexit bus to 'f**k business', one phrase is the most telling about how he operates. 'Convenient fiction' was the phrase Johnson used to describe how he supported the border backstop under Theresa May's government, only to reject it a few months later as a "surrender bill" and the worst possible outcome for the UK.

The game of politicians telling untruths or not giving us the full picture is as old as politics itself. But in this phrase, used by Johnson himself when interviewed in front of a live audience in Dublin last year, the British prime minister took the game to a new level.

Instead of trying not to be caught out on a lie, he came right out and said he signed up to a fiction, i.e. something he never intended to uphold as real, because it was convenient at the time.