Cake and eat it
This is what it has come down to. The possibility of Europe living together in a family of closely linked nations, shattered with intolerance and selfishness on the rise.
The asinine comment I quote above came from Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne. He was frustrated that we are likely to be excluded from the Gallileo satellite navigation system once we leave the European Union. I think the issue can possibly be resolved in the negotiations, but Swayne is representative of the “cake” tendency within the Brexiteer movement.
The attitude goes something like this. We are leaving the EU with a few rude parting shots about the institution. We want the freedom to get a competitive advantage over you in world trade. Oh! but by the way, we want to continue to be part of the bits of the EU that suit us like the European Arrest Warrant, Galileo, and the education programme Erasmus.
The Commons this week gave the Prime Minister the freedom to conduct the Brexit negotiations as she wishes. Let’s hope she shows more finesse than Sir Desmond Swayne.
Tory rebel dupes
Except for the excellent Ken Clarke and the more erratic Anna Soubry, what a bunch of dupes those Tory Remainer MPs were. The media built them up as the members who would bring some sanity to the Brexit process only for them to fall for the oldest trick in the Whips’ office book. Last week ambiguous promises, threats, and appeals to party loyalty got the government off the hook when it was most vulnerable to a move to give back control to the Commons. (I thought that was the purpose of Brexit, but in fact it means giving control to Ministers).
Within 24 hours the rebels saw how the government had outmanoeuvred them. The Lords stood by their position but when the amendment returned to the Commons most of the Tory rebels flaked away from another threatened revolt on the promise that the Speaker would decide on a “meaningful vote” if a “No Deal” crisis looms.
Labour to blame too
Mrs May is able to continue steering Brexit through the reefs and shoals because she is fortunate to have an opposition rendered ineffective by a misplaced respect for the narrow Referendum result and the indifference or hostility to Europe displayed by the leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. Their decision not to support our membership of the European Economic Area split the party and let the government off the hook. This was a deliberate move. Be in no doubt the Labour leadership want to facilitate our leaving the EU. They will eventually stand in the dock of history when the true consequences of our withdrawal are revealed.
What Brexit benefit for the NHS?
Brexiteers have been rightly taunted over their ridiculous bus poster claim that the NHS would benefit by £350 million a week from payments we would no longer be making to Brussels. Mrs May revived the fantasy this week in launching her funding plan for the NHS.
Let’s be clear the NHS, all other public services and business will be damaged because Brexit has had the following consequences: a £39bn divorce bill, a weakened pound, a growth rate that has tanked and the need for us to fund 40 agencies currently supported by the EU.
Oh! and we may have to spend billions on our own Galileo security system. Never mind getting even Sir Desmond, we are too busy shooting ourselves in the foot.
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