IT has oft been said that a week is a long time in politics. To my mind, this last week has seemed particularly long. Prime Minister Boris Johnson toured the nations and regions and forcefully reminded us how out of touch he is with realities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Instead of holding a UK Cabinet meeting in Scotland, as had been widely briefed, the new Tory leader was sent to Faslane. No doubt his handlers thought him being pictured next to Trident submarines made him look serious and statesmanlike. In truth it was a pretty transparent way to avoid meeting the general public in Scotland who, as we know, don’t think much of the blond buffoon.

That plan didn’t really work out as hoped, and the Prime Minister was booed arriving outside Bute House in Edinburgh where he met with Nicola Sturgeon. With the boos ringing in his ears, and after some straight talking from the First Minister, Johnson left by the back door to avoid more humiliation.

Having ensured negative viral social media coverage as well as media reports across the European continent from his Scotland visit, it was off to Wales.

The cold brutal realities of what a No-Deal Brexit means for real people and businesses were underlined by Welsh farmers who tried to explain the consequences.

Accused of playing “Russian roulette” with people’s livelihoods, there was no positive answer from the PM as to what would happen following 40% tariffs on lamb.

With warnings of potential mass slaughter of sheep and the civil unrest, the UK Government had no credible answers.

From Wales, the Boris Brexit roadshow proceeded to Northern Ireland. Given the crucial importance of an open border in Ireland and protecting the peace delivered by the Good Friday Agreement, you would have thought that the Prime Minister would tread carefully. Oh no

 Johnson arrived with his hobnailed boots, showed who his real friends are with an early dinner just with the DUP, before meeting the other political parties and belatedly spoke with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, below, on the phone. Notwithstanding the fact that the Irish backstop was a UK suggestion, he intoned that it needed to be withdrawn, and that it was for EU partners to compromise. It was delusional stuff.

The National:

As Boris Johnson was reminding people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland why they’d be better governing themselves, his English nationalist government was confirming the astronomic cost of hard Brexit preparations. New Chancellor Sajid Javid announced £2.1 billion in fast track No-Deal spending. For the party of austerity which hit the poorest hardest to cut government spending, it sure didn’t take them long to find £2,100,000,000 down the back of the sofa to start paying for Brexit. But that’s just the beginning.

This week we got the first glimpse of what is likely to happen if we continue on the BoJo No-Deal trajectory. According to leaked UK Government planning documents: Britain faces potential “consumer panic” and gaps in security within weeks of leaving the EU without a deal. UK passport holders living in EU countries could start returning home and there may be law and order challenges in Northern Ireland, while the pound will continue to fall.

On top of all of these dire projections, the Tories saw their joint parliamentary majority with the DUP cut to just one in the House of Commons. The decision by Plaid Cymru and the Greens not to contest the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election was key to ensuring the defeat of the Tories. The result must make Boris Johnson uncertain that an early General Election would guarantee him a majority.

As the clock ticks down to Brexit day on the October 31, things seem even more up in the air than before. We now have less than 90 days until the UK leaves the European Union, but the parliamentary majority against a hard Brexit remains.

As Kevin Schofield points out on PoliticsHome, the Brecon by-election result makes an early General Election both more likely and less likely at the same time. It is entirely possible that a no-confidence motion in Johnson’s government may pass and/or he will seek to get his own mandate from the electorate. The by-election shows that he can’t guarantee himself victory.

With every day that passes, the UK continues to sleepwalk towards hard Brexit. Hard to believe that with the fate of so many jobs, livelihoods, businesses, communities, peace in Ireland and more at stake, members of the delusional UK Government don’t wake up and smell the coffee. Time is running out.