Steerpike

Boris takes a swipe at Cox

Boris takes a swipe at Cox
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Fancy an ice-cream anyone? While defending his Internal Market Bill, Boris Johnson chose to make what appeared to be a pointed dig at one of the Bill’s opponents. Describing the possibility of a tariff border down the Irish sea, Johnson provided MPs with a handful of helpful examples. He explained that the Withdrawal Agreement risked:

Tariffs [that] could get as high 90 per cent by value on Scottish beef going to Northern Ireland, tariffs potentially over 61 per cent on Welsh lamb heading from Anglesea to Antrim...

And, entirely incidentally of course, tariffs reaching:

Over 100 per cent on clotted cream from Torridge, to pick a Devonshire town at random, to Larne.

Beyond merely describing a truly disgusting meal, the comment is notable because Torridge is the constituency of Geoffrey Cox, the former attorney general who has accused the government of doing 'unconscionable' damage to Britain's international reputation with the Internal Market Bill. 

Cox won’t be able to fire any shots back in person, however, as he’s not currently in parliament. Instead, the PM’s personal private secretary will be acting as his proxy – nothing awkward about that then... 

It’s perhaps forgivable, then, that the PM couldn’t resist a little passive aggressive. Still, the ball is in Mr Cox’s court now. Should we expect a couple of jars of clotted cream to be posted to Johnson’s Uxbridge constituency? Steerpike waits in anticipation...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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