Theresa May has wrestled back control of the Brexit Agenda. Her prize will be a massive overall majority at the next election, says Peter Bingle.
Yesterday’s speech by the PM on what Brexit means was dull. To be more precise it was excruciatingly dull. The PM is no orator. Watching paint dry was like a Jason Bourne move in comparison and yet the content was radical, provocative and politically brilliant.
Having endured jibes from political friends and foes alike since entering Number 10, the PM has now (in a very unassuming manner) taken control of the Brexit agenda, seized the moment and ensured that the Tories are on the front foot. Jeremy Corbyn is now in a very bad place.
We now know some very clear and important facts. Control of our borders is the primary political consideration. It follows that we cannot remain a member of the internal market and a full member of the customs union. This is a victory for ministers who want the PM to be able to negotiate free trade deals with countries across the globe. In addition, both Houses of Parliament will be asked to approve the final negotiated deal. So game, set and match to the PM…
Having been attacked for refusing to give a ‘running commentary’ the PM has faced up to her critics and set out in breath-taking clarity her position on how to deliver Brexit. Her opponents have been outplayed. They have nowhere to go.
The PM is not an opportunist. On a good day, her speeches are dull. She looks like a concatenation of Hyacinth Bucket and Thora Hird but that is part of her strength. The British public want a period of dull competent government and she fits the bill perfectly.
Labour is now in a very difficult position. How does Jeremy Corbyn respond to the new clarity? If the PM is sincere about protecting workers’ rights what arguments are left to attack her?
We are in a very strange political era. Thatcher was provocative and radical. Major was hopeless. Blair was charming, initially radical and ultimately disappointing. Brown was exhausted by the time he entered No 10. Cameron was a political chancer who rolled the dice once too often. And then there is Theresa May…
Today’s speech may well be the most important of her premiership. In her Blackwatch Tartan jacket she has taken control of the Brexit Agenda in a way which will have shocked and delighted in equal measure. She can never again be attacked for a lack of clarity even if the delivery achieved torpor.
The Tories, thanks to the PM’s speech, have taken back control of the Brexit Agenda. The prize will be a massive overall majority at the next election