It is astonishing to see political commentators attempting to take Theresa May’s Brexit speech seriously. They should attack it for the rubbish it is.
She said the UK has to leave the European Single Market – but will seek “the greatest possible access to it through a new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement”. In other words, she wants us to be both outside and inside the single market at the same time. We knew that already.
Likewise, with the European Customs Union, she said the UK must leave in order to negotiate its own trade deals – but she also wants tariff-free trade with Europe, which isn’t possible outside the customs union. In other words, she wants us to be both outside and inside the customs union at the same time. We knew that already.
She said that both Houses of Parliament would be able to vote on any final Brexit deal – but did not explain what kind of vote this would be. Will it be a “take it or leave it” offer – accept what the Tories have negotiated or it’s over to WTO rules for everything? If so, what is the point in asking the Lords – the “revising” house – to consider it, as no revision will be requested or possible? It seems she wants to provide the illusion that our democratic institutions are involved, while actually trying to blackmail them into supporting her. We knew that already, also.
One aspect we can all agree we knew already was Mrs Mayfly’s determination to control immigration – despite the fact that, as Home Secretary, she had access to EU-approved controls on immigration for six years and never used them. So her words, that while wanting to continue to attract “the brightest and best to study and work in Britain”, “we will get control over [the] number of people coming to Britain from the EU” ring hollow. Under the EU rules she never implemented, she had power to send EU immigrants back to their own country if they weren’t students, didn’t have a job, couldn’t produce health insurance or evidence that they were using their own funds to live here. So controlling immigration is a non-story. The only thing that ever stopped Mrs Mayfly from controlling EU immigration was Mrs Mayfly.
A more plausible reason for leaving the single market, then, is Mrs Mayfly’s determination to stop the European Court of Justice determining matters relating to the UK – but she couldn’t even be honest about this. The European Court has influence only on matters of EU law, and cannot overrule any country on its own national law. Restrictions imposed by the European Court include maintaining workers’ rights, for example, and the quality of goods. Mrs Mayfly wants to scrap UK workers’ rights – and that’s why she wants us to leave the single market. But she didn’t want you to know that, so it seems the Tories have instructed their compliant media to distract us with complaints about immigration instead.
Claims that Mrs Mayfly wants to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK appear to be false, according to information seen by This Writer. Mrs May has said she wants to be able to confirm those rights as soon as possible, indicating that these people are to be considered “negotiating capital” with the EU – but I have seen evidence that at least one EU citizen, attempting to assert those rights recently, was told this was not possible. This suggests that the Conservatives have already decided to curtail those rights. Her claim to protect those rights seems false, therefore, and her promise to develop them in pace with the changing labour market suggests she will remove them as it becomes expedient to her corporate masters.
There were good aspects to her speech – but they were common-sense things. Of course the UK and EU should continue sharing intelligence and policing information. That’s about protecting us all from crime and ensuring our national security.
But what about the difficulties facing Northern Ireland, where the peace process is about much more than simply maintaining an open land border with the Republic of Ireland?
It is all nonsense and waffle. Theresa Mayfly might just as well have stood up and spent her time saying “Blah blah blah Brexit,” over and over again. As far as her tenure in Number 10 is concerned, she should probably start contacting removal companies now.
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: