So finally – almost 2 ½ years after we voted to leave the EU – Theresa May has published the proposed Withdrawal Agreement. It’s every bit the turd of a deal that we had feared – Brexit in Name Only and even worse when you get into the small print; the worst of both worlds; total submission to Brussels; almost all opportunities of leaving the EU closed down, while remaining subject to almost all the burdens; potentially a permanent state of vassalhood as bind successive parliaments by signing away our right to pull out and handing complete power over to the EU. It’s the “Kit-Kat Brexit” the Remainer civil service had been working on all along behind the scenes on the instructions of our Remainer Prime Minister. For this we pay at least £39 billion and likely much more. This is before negotiations on a trade deal have even started. It’s not Brexit. It’s not what we voted for. It’s deceitful and anti-democratic. It’s surrender to a foreign power. In a word it’s treason.
It’s acceptable to neither Remainers nor Leavers. It’s actually worse than staying in. At least we have MEPs and a limited say in the institutions and decision making as an EU member, along with a theoretical ability to unilaterally decide to leave. Even I would vote to stay in the EU rather than accept this. And that’s the point. That’s the plan. Theresa May claims this is the best possible deal; the only possible Brexit. Parliament will throw it out, but they won’t allow a default WTO Brexit. The EU will agree to extend Article 50 so we can hold a “People’s Vote” to choose between May’s deal and remaining in the EU. No sane person will vote for this turd of a deal. Remain wins. We stay in the EU minus our rebate and probably a few of our opt-outs. Forever. Job done. End of story.
Of course, this is far from the best deal we could have gotten; far worse than no deal; far worse than Canada+++. Of course, Theresa May knew this from the start; before she broke the most elementary rules of effective negotiation by agreeing to the EU’s salami-sliced process and timetable; before she turned-down offers of assistance from experience trade negotiators; before she sidelined David Davis and expert advice from inside and outside her party; before she for the contrived non-issue of the Irish border backstop being weaponised to keep us entrapped; before caving in to every demand in her obvious desperation to come back with any deal rather than no deal and allowing negotiations to be run by EU-supplicating civil servants, obsessed with not upsetting Brussels.
She’s not stupid, even if it seems that way. She didn’t get to be Prime Minister and cling doggedly to power by being stupid. She was appointed by a political and big business establishment which has been determined for the last 60 years that we be a part of this club, irrespective of public opinion, the national interest or the terms we have to sign up to. It was her job all along to suffocate Brexit and neutralise the peoples’ will while claiming to be implementing the referendum vote. The establishment have instead taken advantage of the supposed Brexit negotiation to lock us in with Brussels irrevocably. This is no transition arrangement. Dominic Raab resigned when he realised it would be used as the basis for our ongoing relationship.
You could call this ‘John & Yoko Brexit’. In the early 1970s John Lennon & Yoko Ono separated for a while. John remained in her thrall while she continued to control many aspects of his life, even down to choosing his girlfriend. When she felt that he has suffered enough and shown sufficient contrition, she deigned to take him back. This relationship is being structured to make it as easy as possible for us to rejoin the EU in the near future – on the EU’s terms.
So what of the Brexiteers in government? Surely they would all be resigning in disgust, disassociating themselves and condemning this travesty cooked-up by May and her close civil service cabal. Well Dominic Raab has resigned, as did Boris Johnson and David Davis after Chequers, along with a few others further down the food chain – but the ‘Pizza Club’: Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt, Michael Gove & Liam Fox are still hanging on, saying they hope to improve the deal – even though May and the EU have clearly stated there’s no chance of doing so – as if the deal would be remotely palatable with just few tweaks.
And what of those in the wider Parliamentary Conservative Party? It takes 48 Tory MPs to trigger a confidence vote in May’s leadership. Jacob Rees Mogg’s ERG supposedly has 60 members. We’ve known since Chequers in July that what May brought back would be a turd minus minus. Boris failed to use October’s conference as a springboard to launch a leadership bid. Mogg has only just put his letter in. Johnson, Davis and many others continue to sit on their hands. The Chairman of the 1922 committee is still well short of receiving the requisite number of letters. May has successfully played-up the risk of Corbyn government as a deterrent. The wagons have been circled. The momentum for a no-confidence vote has dissipated and is now on hold until the parliamentary vote next month.
[To be continued tomorrow with Part II – don’t miss it!]