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22nd Jul 2019

There’s a typo in the final paragraph of Boris Johnson’s last Telegraph column

What a send off

Oli Dugmore

Boris Johnson makes a typo in his last Telegraph column

What a send off

Boris Johnson is about to become the country’s next prime minister. And, barring a massive Jeremy Hunt-shaped upset, that means the end of his weekly Telegraph column. Future press releases will come from Downing Street instead of Buckingham Palace Road.

The soon-to-be coronated Tory leader compared Brexit to the Apollo 11 moon landings in his final missive. Short of, well, any detail on how to a prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, Johnson called for “can-do spirit”.

He said: “If they could use hand-knitted computer code to make a frictionless re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere in 1969, we can solve the problem of frictionless trade at the Northern Irish border.

“There is no task so simple that government cannot overcomplicate if it doesn’t want to do it. And there are few tasks so complex that humanity cannot solve if we have a real sense of mission to pull them off.

“It is time this country recovered some of its can-do spirit. We can come out of the European Union on 31 October, and yes, we certainly have the technology to do so. What we need now is the will and the drive.”

In his leadership campaign, Johnson pledged to entirely remove the Irish backstop from the withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU.

It is an insurance mechanism, that would keep Northern Ireland in regulatory alignment with Europe and prevent a hard border, in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a negotiated deal.

The EU has repeatedly and forcefully stated that the backstop is non-negotiable, as it maintains core principles established by the Good Friday Agreement – the peace treaty that ended the Troubles.

Johnson’s column did not contain any information on how he intends to bridge this gap upon entering Number 10.

It did however contain a typo in its final paragraph: “It is time this country recovered some its can-do spirit [sic].”

Buckle up.