With a huge sigh of relief our MSM have given over their front pages and headlines to the news that the Duchess of Sussex has finally produced her long-awaited baby. Articles on Brexit and the PM were relegated to the inner pages, as were those on ‘ministers’ meeting with Labour yet again to ‘hammer out’ that deal which the Nation knows is a fudge and betrayal.
Our Remain MSM payed equal, scant attention to the rumblings inside the Tory Party where the 1922 Committee is apparently flexing their muscles again, meeting the PM this afternoon when they will be really really hard and demand a leaving date from her yet again. Not a leaving date for us to exit the EU, you understand, but for her to leave as PM. Non-paywalled reports are here and here, the paywalled ones are here and here.
It’s all so exciting, isn’t it, when we read about the verbal muscle-flexing going on, especially as this 1922 Committee meeting is tied to the result of those talks with Labour:
“Senior sources within the Conservative Party said on Monday that Mrs May will be “gone very quickly” if she moves towards Labour’s demands for a post-Brexit customs union with the EU.” (paywalled link)
In case you believe that this ‘deal’ with Labour is only about pushing the PM’s WA deal over the line, think again. The underlying reason is this – and it’s a reason which is of urgency for Labour as well, after the result in the local elections:
“Downing Street has said Mrs May wants the talks with Labour wrapped up by the end of this week because that would still allow time for a deal to be ratified by Parliament in time to avoid MEPs being sent to Brussels.” (paywalled link)
We’ve learned that Parliament – both Houses, that is – can move very fast indeed when it’s about legislating to keep us in. Remember the Letwin/Cooper amendment last month? Remember that both Houses are Remain to the core! Once you’re ‘in’ that club, it’s irrelevant what us peasants out here think or vote for. It’s even irrelevant what the footfolk in LabCon think, that both sides do not want such deal, for different reasons. Tim Stanley remarks in the (paywalled) DT:
“A few weeks ago Labour thought the answer was to oppose the Government’s Brexit plan in a bid to sink it, but this might prove to have been a mistake. History has called their bluff. They are now forced to take greater responsibility for Brexit at the very moment when options are narrowing and the public’s patience has run out. In politics it’s often stupid to try to be clever when you could just be honest. What we’re left with is a kind of unintelligent fraud […] Nigel Farage is right to warn that even if a customs union is a winner in Parliament, it could be a big loser in the country, precisely because it is the product of a grand bargain between political elites that most voters no longer trust.” (paywalled link)
A comment in RemainCentral, a.k.a. The Times, makes the same point:
“The last thing that is going to win back public trust is a Westminster stitch-up behind closed doors in what Nigel Farage has already characterised as a “coalition against the people”. (link, paywalled)
Still, the PM ploughs on. It looks as if she and her Remain colleagues, as if the Labour front bench, believe that a ‘deal’, now, must surely kill the Farage fox and send TBP scurrying back into their holes.
I repeat – this deal is not only about getting that abomination, the WA, across the finishing lines, it’s about preventing the EP Elections at all costs. They can read the polls as well as we do.
It is of course again the inimitable Sir John Redwood who not only warns about what the PM is likely to do but who has the simple solution for scuppering the EP Elections – not that the PM will take notice:
“She has hinted she would leave after getting the Withdrawal Treaty through the Commons, without precisely naming a date. I do not believe she would leave as soon as she passed the Treaty, were that to happen with Labour votes. It would be seen by her and the pro May parts of the press as a great triumph to have got it through against all the odds and against the overwhelming opposition of the voters. Why wouldn’t she then say she was needed to handle talks with the EU based on the Treaty? That is why my best option is she takes us out this month, cancelling the European election. If she fails to do so the pressures should become overwhelming for her to go.” (link)
Indeed so, but our ‘leaders’ believe firmly that a possible 2nd referendum can and will be managed their way because TBP, ‘damaged’ because their impetus will have vanished without EP elections, will surely have lost traction.
They assume that we out here will have given up. The Mark Sedwills and the power of Whitehell, combined with all the Remain NGOs, will surely see to that. Or so they hope.
There’s also a session in the HoC this afternoon but we don’t know if Mr Williamson will give his alleged speech at that time. For entertainment, read this hilarious but serious article by Richard Littlejohn in the DM (here, not paywalled!) – strewth, doesn’t Sir Mark Sedwill look exactly like Sir Humphrey Appleby …!
The PM ought to be extremely wary though because Dominic Grieve MP – remember him? – has intervened with a timely article in the DT. He happens to be the Chairman of the Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee and is not conciliatory, as we all remember:
“In the current debate on the possible involvement of Huawei in our 5G network, we must not lose sight of what is really at stake: one of the UK’s greatest intelligence assets. […] if there is any reason to suspect that our intelligence-sharing relationship with our Five Eyes partners will be damaged, then that should automatically determine our decision on the future of our 5G network […] (paywalled link)
It certainly ought to – but will Mr Grieve call Sir Mark Sedwill to explain himself in front of the Intelligence and Security Committee? We might also ask why Mr Grieve hasn’t done so yet … More:
In the past we have seen governments on all sides of the Five Eyes partnership act swiftly to protect the relationship: legislation has been introduced to address concerns around vulnerabilities and leak Inquiries have been launched to regain trust. For us to consider taking action now which might in any way jeopardise such a critical partnership would be unconscionable – and unforgivable.” (paywalled link).
Well, that surely carries some weight!
I don’t know which threat to her tenure as PM will turn out to be the more dangerous, but given the toothless tigers of the 1922 Committee I suspect that it might turn out to be the sacking of Mr Williamson over the Huawei affaire which will break her.
Now let’s have some bets on how long the arrival of the latest Royal Baby will dominate the headlines … ‘bread and circus’ has ever been the preferred way of the elites to keep us plebs controlled.