by John Ward
The Prime Minister is deluding herself if she thinks the ‘collective consensus’ of Chequers is any kind of checkmate
The BBC (who else?) led the way this morning in the peddling of Orwellian Newspeak about the Cabinet’s “crunch” Brexit meeting at Chequers yesterday. The Cabinet had, the Beeb insisted, agreed ‘a collective stance’ on May’s proposal for a ‘combined customs territory’ based on a ‘common rule book’. In plain English, what’s not been agreed is Cabinet unanimity (as per the Constitution), dumping the customs union, and a total cutting of ties from all EU jurisdiction.
If there are rules, then they will have to be obeyed…and Jean-Claude Junker made this abundantly clear within hours of the Number 10 statement. He of course had the advantage of most Cabinet members, in that he had (along with beleaguered German leader Angela Merkel) seen Theresa May’s Brexit Andrex bogroll proposal before they did. But in case there might be any doubt, he told eurohacks, “if there is any backsliding from this rulebook, we will punish the UK”.
The Luxembourgeois tax evasion enabler has inadvertantly (one meths shot too many over breakfast?) restated an infinite Truth: no State can be slightly independent any more than any woman can be slightly pregnant.
I do not oppose ‘Soft Brexit’ for the sake of it. I merely reiterate as follows: Brexit must not allow any EU or EC person or institution in any shape or form whatever to maintain a jurisdiction over British conduct of its own affairs….be they military, borders related or to do with our own territorial waters.
This morning, Jacob Rees-Mogg – on being asked by Nick Robinson of the BBC whether Mrs May’s proposed deal was worse than no deal – replied: “Of course it’s possible that this deal is worse. We need to know the details….but a very soft Brexit means we haven’t left. We simply are a rule-taker. That is not something that this country voted for. It’s not what the Prime Minister promised.”
Predictably, what we don’t have is the details. One wonders when we will. Prominent Tory Leaver and former blogger Iain Dale has ready said, “This is Brexit in name only”, suggesting that he has had sight of (or leaked comment on) the May proposal.
I will give it until (at the latest) next Wednesday before this thinly-disguised show of subservient solidarity starts to fly apart….once the anti-matter gathers strength. There are two axes to such a force field.
The first is the allegedly “outvoted” group who are – as if anyone could forget – fighting the corner of the majority who voted to Leave. If today’s sounding are right (and this is all rumour mill, so take it as you will) the group dominated by Boris Johnson saw the Chequers snowplough coming on this one, and agreed in advance to go along with the idea of a solidarity statement “but then live to fight another day”. Certainly, there is no chance at all that genuine Tory backbench Brexiteers would ever buy into what appears to have been “agreed” at the Prime Ministerial pied à retraite.
But the second axis, as I have posted many times recently, is I think far more likely to have a profound effect on the very structure of British politics. This is the very high likelihood that the mad folks at the European Commission will turn the proposal down flat. When negotiating with any Member State, this has always been the default position for the powder-puffs – because so far, no member beyond Hungary (and to a large extent Italy) has yet called their bluff.
That the British Government has chosen not to do so is, I freely admit, a matter for extreme shame on my part. Theresa May is a deeply dishonest woman who has somehow managed to survive as a human being for sixty years without any trace of a spinal cord or cerebrally present ethical synapse. Despite her high IQ, she has not the scintilla of a clue as to what is at stake here, how serious the social consequences could be if she cheats the British People, and how quickly her myopic trimming strategy is going to unravel.
There are those in Westminster, Brussels, Athens, Paris, New York and Washington who believe that the EU negotiation strategy is now increasingly focused: that is to say, Juncker & Co’s medium-term goal is to put the UK Government into such a hopeless position, it will have no choice but to call an election. The result of that election – so the Sprouts assume – will be a victory for some form of Labour/LibDem cooperative agreement, and a rapid attempt to take advantage of the “stay in option” Theresa May has allegedly signed in the event of no deal by late March 2019.
The chances of the US Alt State applauding that outcome are almost homoaeopathic.
I don’t see any of that as a near certainty, but this much is obvious: as and when the EC turns down this “collective consensus” proposal, Theresa May will have nowhere to hide. Electorate attitudes will harden at exactly the same moment as it becomes clear to even those pizza-munchers melded to the sofa that the Prime Minister’s Brexit policy is in tatters. Her position will be disturbingly close to that of Neville Chamberlain once Hitler had folded the rest of pre-war Czechoslovakia into the Third Reich.
The unelected underminers “advising” the UK’s Brexit negotiators will of course be delighted. Like most of the feather-bedded, goggle-eyed sociopaths in Whitehall, they don’t giveAF about what’s best for freedoms, democracy, social stability and a future independence for post-Imperial Britain. The same applies to the psychoclowns like Campbell, Blair, Mandelson, Clegg, Cameron, Clarke.
They care only about their tramline interpretation of what represents progress.
What a bloody mess we are in.