Traitor: noun. One who is false to his allegiances or acts disloyally to country, king, cause , religion or principles (Oxford Concise Dictionary)
The attempted sell-out of Brexit by Theresa May as laid down in the white paper entitled The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union should surprise no one. We have a remainer PM, a remainer-dominated Cabinet; a remainer-dominated government; a remainer-dominated Tory Parliamentary Party and a remainer-dominated Parliament. These politicians are widely supported by Europhile in the senior ranks of the civil service, academics and mainstream mediafolk.
Theresa May: an incompetent or a saboteur?
Many commentators are ascribing to incompetence the seeming shambles May is presiding over. This is much less plausible than the alternative explanation, namely, that May is a steadfast remainer and is deliberately trying to sabotage Brexit from within.
This latter interpretation was plausible even before the Chequers proposals were made public. Since May came to office she has ensured that her Cabinet has been very heavily dominated by remainers in a ratio of around two thirds remainer to one third Brexiteer. There is little difference between her original Cabinet and the present one. If May had been really intent on delivering Brexit the balance would have been at least reversed.
To her Cabinet favouritism can be added the fact that May has capitulated at every point over both the shape of the negotiation with the EU and specific issues, most notably her proposal that the EU be paid £39 billion (and probably more because the EU has not agreed to anything) by the UK for the privilege of leaving the EU and her proposal that 3 million or more citizens of remaining EU states should be given full residency rights if the EU reciprocates for the one million UK citizens living in other EU states. (This would make UK a the big loser in the transaction, both from the difference in numbers, but also because the level of government provision in areas such as welfare, health and education varies considerably within the remaining 27 EU members, most of which have government provision which is much inferior to that available in the UK. EU states are only obligated to treat incomers from other EU states as they do their own people and the EU will almost certain insist this rule remains for those qualifying for residency in either the UK and the EU after Brexit).
Further evidence of May’s treachery comes from ministers involved with the Brexit negotiations who have resigned. David Davis (who resigned as Brexit Secretary) has accused May of making ‘concessions to the EU that were so fundamental they risked undermining the whole Brexit process’. Steve Baker (who resigned as a Brexit Minister) went so far as to accuse the PM of having conducted a campaign to thwart Brexit with the aid of other remainer politicians and civil servants.
Boris Johnson in his resignation letter to Mrs May wrote:
“It is more than two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union on an unambiguous and categorical promise that if they did so they would be taking back control of their democracy.
They were told that they would be able to manage their own immigration policy, repatriate the sums of UK cash currently spent by the EU, and, above all, that they would be able to pass laws independently and in the interests of the people of this country.
Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy.
That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.”
In his resignation speech in the House of Commons Johnson reinforced his opposition to May’s proposals, by succinctly detailing some of the major restrictions on sovereignty which those proposals entail, viz:
“We are volunteering for economic vassalage, not just in goods and agri-foods but we will be forced to match EU arrangements on the environment and social affairs and much else besides. Of course we all want high standards but it is hard to see how the Conservative government of the 1980s could have done its vital supply side reforms with those freedoms taken away.
And the result of accepting the EU’s rulebooks and of our proposals for a fantastical Heath Robinson customs arrangement is that we have much less scope to do free trade deals as the Chequers paper actually acknowledges and which we should all frankly acknowledge. Because otherwise, if we pretend otherwise, we continue to make the fatal mistake of underestimating the intelligence of the public, saying one thing to the EU about what we are doing, and then saying another thing to the electorate.
And given that in important ways, this is Bino or Brino – or Brexit in name only – I am, of course, unable to accept it or support it, as I said in the Cabinet session at Chequers, and I am happy now to speak out against it and be able to do so. Mr Speaker, it is not too late to save Brexit, we have time in these negotiations.”
To all this can be added the widespread condemnation of her White Paper proposals from Brexiteers from backbenchers across the party divide in Parliament, for example, Gisela Stuart (Labour) who described what May is offering as a “phantom Brexit”, and Jacob Rees-Mogg (Tory) who ventured that it represented a “very unfortunate U-Turn”.
There is one further reason to believe that May is deliberately sabotaging Brexit. That is her demeanour. Despite enduring what on the face of it an intensely stressful extended period of political activity May gives no sign of being stressed. Indeed, in her photographs and on video either in the Commons or outside she gives the impression of being not merely relaxed but positively buoyed by the way things are going. That is exactly the behaviour that would be expected of someone achieving their ends by deceit. May’s frequent smiles have the coy triumphal quality of someone who is executing a Machiavellian plan successfully. Nor is there any sign of her wavering for on Friday the Tory-supporting Daily Telegraph reports that May is preparing to “go down fighting” in her attempt to stand by her Chequers proposals.
Parts 2 and 3 will be published in UKIP Daily soon.