As the May Government’s vision of Brexit emerges it’s clear for all to see what a ham fisted betrayal of the electorate’s decision it really is, says Peter Divey.
Theresa May’s Brexit is slowly coming in to view. It is horrific, worse, it is calculated and deliberate. The ultimate political snub. Talk of dithering and indecision or planned incompetence underplay the brazen cynicism. This is not farce, travesty and disaster accidentally blended.
Remember when no deal was better than a bad deal? Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed? Neither does May. An almost total capitulation to the EU has left the UK dog with nothing more than a toothless bark. Any bite was only ever a deceit. To prove our credentials and sincerity May wants to hand over our billions to the EU before any deal is finalised. Good faith you know. The last bullet in our small revolver discarded. Ignore the Galileo navigation system brouhaha, an artifice designed as a distraction, and to reassure Leave voters about Team UK’s fighting spirit.
The implementation period sums up this Brexit illusion. An open-ended extension to at least 2023 guts the whole process. The next General Election will come and go and Brexit will be no closer in reality. The implementation period is nothing more than a continuous stay of execution. The cliff edge sidestepped, the vote stalled before it is ultimately ignored. This just cannot be so you might think, scurrilous reporting, sensational headlines to grab sales and web engagement. I wish.
The Elephant in the room needs to be addressed. Theresa May can only instigate her Brexit plans if the Tory Party, the Government, the Conservative Movement as a whole step aside. Excuses and justifications abound. The EU border with Ireland, the complexity and complication, the looming threat of PM Corbyn, this, that, and the other. The latest is a doozy, get out and then make Brexit better. A blatant admission that a bad deal is coming. A MEP mocked the UK recently, saying escape velocity would not be achieved until 2065, a reference to ongoing payments until 2064. That is some timeline. Red lines are breached but some are being used to tie us to the EU. Not the Customs Union but a new Customs arrangement, different yet the same, like Brexit.
The EU has a significant concern, never alluded to directly, hidden within legal jargon, treaties, responsibilities, custom and practice, duty. It is why Barnier is so exacting and diligent and determined. Outright threats and hostility are slipped out as needed. Good faith, do not make me laugh. If the UK flies the EU nest and prospers, all will be lost, for the EU will have been found out. Italy would lead the charge to the exit. It is always fun to play “what if”, so let us suppose Brexit drags on for years, and in the meantime Italy leaves the EU, or one of the Visegrad Four. No equivocation, no long drawn out negotiations, no payments or punishment. Bang, gone. The UK may just take a clue from that.
A summation of the May Brexit reads poorly
No-Deal is off the table
Implementation Period to be extended, and extended again as needed
Brexit Bill to be paid up front
Other payments to continue until 2064
EU policy, regulation and law to continue to inform UK actions
A new customs “arrangement”
All the leverage is gone and March 29, 2019 will be merely symbolic, as intended. The brass neck is staggering. It will be the definition of a bad deal, yet it will be more than tolerable to Team UK. Most have no idea what is coming, what is being concocted in our name. The consequences for the Tories should be devastating but the calculation seems to be otherwise because the can is to be kicked so far into the long grass that it will be lost and a new political and social construct will rise up and save the day. By then the voter should be wiser, after all Project Fear must have sunk in by then. Mark Carney is as relentless as Barnier. Every UK family is £900 worse off than they would have been due to Brexit uncertainty. Propaganda writ large, neither based on reality or certainty and all it does is prove his mendacity. The Hammond/Carney show is consistent as it is only about the needs of big business and London. Good news is minimised, bad news is highlighted and the UK is repeatedly undermined to demonstrate the foolishness of Brexit. The Governorship of the Bank of England has collapsed into political commentary amid hissy-fits and the anti-Brexit media lap it up. Beyond the broad strokes what other little gems can we expect:
Immigration will basically remain unchanged
Payment into the new EU Defence Force
Payment into other select areas of choice
Trade deals around the World will be neutered by EU alignment
Continued EU legal dominance until implementation ceases
Fishing rights to be licensed to the EU on a similar basis to now
A deliberate spurning of the USA in favour of the EU
This is the Brexit that will be signed off, written into law. We will not be able to get out and then make good unless we break our word. Constraint was always the EU idea and it was too easy. Many other surprises will be hidden for years or decades, for security reasons, for political reasons, for embarrassment reasons. When they are revealed people will be astonished. Behind the scenes, most of this is already agreed in principle. Do not expect the Tories to rise up and depose May. The Brexit that Leave voters wanted were promised will be nowhere to be seen. If you pay attention it is happening in clear sight. A fantastic opportunity that our political class and civil service rejected. They were not scared, but rabidly ideologically opposed. Parliament will use a meaningful vote to make the referendum meaningless. What irony.