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Brexit: Boris Johnson has to make sure his gamble doesn’t come back to bite him at the G7 summit

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One line from Tom McTague’s celebrated profile of Boris Johnson for The Atlantic this week struck me as telling: “He is lively and engaged, superficially dishevelled but in fact focused and watchful.”

That is the truth about the master of ceremonies at the G7 show being staged in Cornwall this weekend. The prime minister will be cheerful, artfully disorganised but all the time “focused and watchful”. These summits are mostly about the photos and the platitudes, but there is serious business to be transacted in the gaps in the official schedule.

The problem of the post-Brexit rules in Northern Ireland is one of those items of serious business. Johnson needs the goodwill of Ursula von der Leyen, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden to make this work, and here they are, by chance, all in the same place.

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