DOMINIC RAAB might be the new Foreign Secretary but, when it comes to Ireland, it would appear his basic grasp of geography is severely lacking.
Footage of Raab confusing the Irish Sea for the Red Sea has surfaced online in the wake of his appointment – and it’s worrying to say the least.
A self-proclaimed “details-orientated man”, the Conservative minister can be seen getting the Red Sea, which runs from Egypt's Suez down to Bab Al Mandeb off Yemen, with the body of water separating England and Ireland.
Filmed back in July 2018, during a speech to the Exiting the EU Committee, the gaffe came during Raab’s brief time as Brexit minister under Theresa May.
Alarmingly, it’s not the first time the MP for Esher and Walton managed a serious cock-up when it came to discussing geography.
Around this time, Raab garnered widespread derision after seemingly admitting he was unaware of the fact the UK is separated from France by water.
“I hadn’t quite understood the full extent of this, but if you look at the UK and look at how we trade in goods, we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing,” he declared, rather bizarrely, at the meeting.
Here is Dominic Raab our newly appointed Foreign Secretary, who didn’t realise we were separated from France by water, confusing the Irish Sea with the Red Sea. I kid you not! https://t.co/XgpOnXVBFa
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) July 28, 2019
While, on the one hand, Raab’s stance can be seen as a source of some amusement, his general ignorance over Ireland should be cause for concern – particularly when you factor in his view on the Backstop.
The backstop represents an insurance policy to avoid the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Raab, however, views the backstop as “undemocratic” and insists it must be removed before the UK government will even countenance doing a deal with the EU.
"It's not just about the UK's position, it's about what the EU decides,” he said [via News Talk].
"The message has already been sent out immediately that there is a deal to be done if the EU will shift on this crucial issue."
"They've been pretty stubborn throughout and Brexit is a decision taken by the UK people as one in a referendum.
"And the response to Brexit by the EU will be something that they'll need to take responsibility for".