In one of the first acts in her political career last Friday Theresa May met Nicola Sturgeon to devise a way in which, some are beginning to think, both Scotland and England can stay in the EU; Scotland without having another referendum on Scottish Independence, England without a parliamentary debate or a second referendum. Although Mrs May intends to keep the UK in the EU, she knows she has to do it in a way that the public will think we have left when in reality we haven’t, as in “Yes Minister”.
In a master stroke of obfuscation, Theresa and Nicola agreed that Article 50 of the EU treaty would not be invoked until full agreement had been reached between Westminster and Edinburgh over a satisfactory approach to exiting the EU. In other words we won’t leave until Nicola gives her permission. The Daily Telegraph reported; ’Theresa May has indicated that Brexit could be delayed as she said she will not trigger the formal process for leaving the EU until there is an agreed “UK approach” backed by Scotland.’
Such an agreement will never be forthcoming. Head Girl Nicola with her gut loathing for the English, has staked her political future on staying in the EU. Head Girl Theresa knows this, but that’s ok because she has no intention of leaving either. That was obvious when she appointed two political geldings to key offices in a bogus Brexit exercise reminiscent of the film, ‘The Man who Never Was”, Liam Fox to Minister of International Trade, and David Davis, Minister for Brexit. Behind Mrs May’s chair at the Edinburgh talks, you could almost hear Davis bleating about implementing article 50 within the year. This is of no matter as he is for the slaughter house next spring, along with Boris, who sooner or later, Whitehall is confident, will make the gaffe of all gaffes, one which they will leak far and wide.
Sir Humphrey’s first step will be to delay article 50 for as along as possible. A week is a long time in politics, two years the equivalent of from here to Mars by bicycle. Who knows what the EU will look like by then, or even if it still exists.
The key to Brexit is our right to govern ourselves. Whitehall wants us to surrender to it Brussels. As Sir Humphrey would tell you, the only thing wrong with Britain is the British public’s right to vote, take it away and give it to Brussels and peace and joy will descend on Berlaymont for ever. If only we had done it in 1939 we would never have had that bothersome war.
But then there is that Boris chap. A Whitehall official told me most MPs think he is a bit of a joke. In reality, it is the British public who think MP’s are a joke, a despicable bunch of preferment seekers who never give a straight answer to a straight question. Boris is the first British politician for years to talk straight and to admit to being wrong.
The Tory public to a man and woman want him as Prime Minister. Once they discover May is just another politician, she may have not long to go.
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Also read ‘Dimmest Cabinet in History’ Peter Hitchens in today’s Daily Mail
Theresa May has a very interesting political problem on her hands. She realizes that the referendum was nothing more than an off year election in which the governing party gets hammered. If Cameron had campaigned vigorously for “Leave”, “Remain” would have won by 10 points. She recognizes the global trading fantasies of such as Daniel Hannan, Farage etc. as just that; fantasies. Britain failed to pull that off in 1880 when Whitehall controlled , directly or indirectly, 1/3rd of the world’s population. The trick for her now is to remain while negotiating leave, the abominable Sturgeon will be useful in that. Even in a market of over 500 million people Britain runs a food deficit, a fuel deficit, a technology deficit, a technical skills deficit and financially trade and current account deficits. How are you ever going to prosper outside of that market? Don’t tell me that Britain was fine before the EU, Britain wasn’t fine, during the 50s, 60s, 70s and early 80s, Britain was a bloody shambles.
Just to reply to a minor point; had Britain held a referendum in 1939 on whether to go to war against Germany the result would have been 90% NO! Britain declared war on Germany because of a fit of petty pique from Chamberlain. That decision was profoundly stupid on so many levels it has to rank as one of the worst political decisions of all time.
In a recent interview Johnson said that while the referendum result will be ‘respected’ Britain will never leave ‘Europe’.
One free interpretation of this might be that while there will indeed be a British exit as Theresa May has said it will into something worse than the present arrangement; some sort of associate membership.