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By Jason Michael
Theresa May took the hardest line possible on Brexit, but there was no reason for the media frenzy. It had all been leaked ahead of time. Her out means out speech more than probably reflects what Europe has already told her is the best she can expect.
Theresa May, looking as usual like a burnt-out 1950s primary school headmistress in her Black Watch tartan Vivienne Westwood onesie, managed to say nothing we didn’t already know in her over hyped Lancaster House address on the government’s Brexit position earlier today. Every dog on the street knew that she would make no concessions to the devolved parliaments. Hammond and the Prime Minister have decided that Brexit will be a full withdrawal from the EU and the single market, a return to British isolationism, and what amounts to a suicide pact that will take the British state down with them. Thanks to legislation introduced in the 1960s we can’t even impeach her for economic treason, never mind the risk she poses to the security of the state.
Butterfly Rebellion (@Butterfly_Reb) January 16, 2017
Her plan for Scotland and Northern Ireland – both of which rejected leaving the EU in the June referendum – is quite simple: Mrs. May intends to keep the Union united by telling them to simmer down and do as they are told. Whether she is aware or not this brainless strategy does nothing but invite further – and not completely unwelcome – instability. In Scotland, where this is most welcomed, she has paved the way for the Scottish government to call another referendum on quitting the Union. In the north of Ireland, where this is not so welcome, her idea of dictating to the province is a violation of the terms of the Good Friday Agreement – and as such runs the risk of destroying the peace and reigniting the Troubles.
Ultimately May’s hard line approach to Brexit makes no sense. She wants a complete break from the single market but threatens Europe with repercussions if it will not trade with the UK, she wants to regain complete sovereignty over Britain’s borders but acknowledges the country’s need for migrant labour, and she wants nothing more to do with the European courts but insists that all present EU law will be permanently written into British law. What Theresa wants is to have her cake and eat it. More than this, her iron fist posturing hints at something else. It is altogether possible that she is taking such a tough position in order to save face, as she may already know that Europe intends to use the Article 50 negotiations as an opportunity to punish little Britain.
Watching both the BBC and Sky News working themselves up into a frenzy over the fact that the pound bounced back by two whole points during her rendition of Rule Britannia made for another awkward moment. The great British pound has dropped over twenty points against the euro and the dollar since the Brexit vote, and continues on a downward trajectory. Sure it recovered by two points while she was talking, but as soon as she stopped talking it returned to its southward march. It’s amazing what makes the news when you have nothing left but spin, and spin and a tartan jacket is pretty much all that May has going for her now.
Theresa May only following UKIP’s lead on Brexit