Brexit is the stage on which Boris Johnson acts out his theatre of provocation | Tom Kibasi

The prime minister deliberately sows division and chaos, casting himself as the man who can cut through it all

This week’s publication of the draft internal market bill marked the latest twist in the never-ending Brexit drama. If the bill were to become law, it would give ministers new powers to ride roughshod over international law and breach the special protocol for Northern Ireland contained in the withdrawal agreement. The government claimed it was necessary to avoid an “extreme interpretation” of the deal by the EU. The spat has escalated quickly, with talk of legal remedies and trade sanctions.

Now with accelerating absurdity, the government’s claim that it needs to pass this legislation to mitigate the risks of the EU acting in bad faith has itself been condemned by Brussels as an act of bad faith that violates the good faith obligations in the withdrawal agreement. Since these good faith obligations apply to both sides, and plainly rule out the imaginary scenario of an “extreme interpretation” of the agreement by the EU, it is obvious that the bill is an unnecessary provocation.

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