So finally after 6 months of economic and social uncertainty, insecurity and instability in which abusive as well as impassioned and coherent arguments have been thrown back and forth across both sides of the debate, the anxiety fuelled wait is finally over. Theresa May’s Brexit strategy has been delivered. We now have a plan. And unsurprisingly, it is as disappointing as the prime minister herself.
A woman who is totally unable to compromise; who is completely preoccupied with detail to the detriment of seeing the bigger picture; Who uses mantras as a reasoning strategy; Who is intimidated by a minority because they have electoral power; And who has no conviction in her own beliefs that she campaigned for before the EU Referendum; Has opted for a hard-core, full-English Brexit.
No surprise, really.
The worst mistake David Cameron ever made as prime minister, and the one thing that he will unfortunately be remembered for was opening the Pandora’s Box that was the EU Referendum. Effectively giving license for Farage to thrust himself into the headlights, ploughing through 43 years of progress and leaving carnage in his wake. Nobody can predict the consequences of this destructive outcome of the referendum nor how many more years it will take to remedy the potentially devastating impacts.
Cameron; the good Tory?
For a Tory, I always thought David Cameron was a fairly decent politician mainly because of his willingness to compromise. And even though Nick Clegg was slammed for forming a coalition with the conservatives, I absolutely believe that politics has got to be about compromise. Everyone has different values in life, different beliefs and aspirations and different perspectives on the best means to achieve these goals. Theresa May’s decision to entirely ignore 48% of the electorate who voted to Remain, who are just part of the 73% of the population who did not vote to Leave, and to sideline the majority of MPs who all believe that a hard Brexit will have a detrimental effect on Britain’s economy and society, makes it questionable how many of the People she is actually acting as Prime Minister for.
In her Brexit plan speech, Theresa May claimed she will “put the preservation of our precious Union at the heart of everything we do”. This cannot possibly be believed, given that Nicola Sturgeon made it clear that a hard Brexit would lead to a second referendum on Scottish independence. Prioritizing the preservation of the Union would mean compromising with a softer Brexit strategy which the leader of the SNP was more than happy to negotiate. Moreover, the claim to ensure that “no new barriers to living and doing business within our own union are created” cannot be accepted given the impact that a hard-Brexit will have on the border in Ireland.
She also stated that “Britain is an open and tolerant country”; a claim that was absolutely disproved by the referendum result and backed up by the figures showing a 58% increase in hate crime in the final week of July on 2015. Moreover, she has said “I will always welcome individual migrants as friends.” But there is clearly a limit to the number of friends Theresa is prepared to host because she is planning to put strict controls on her guest list. Somehow I doubt many migrants want Theresa May to be their “friend” when actually what they want is the opportunity to travel and work, to take advantage of international opportunities and to provide a better life for themselves and their families. But obviously these lifestyle perks should only be available to Theresa’s exclusive guest list.
The grovelling PM
Theresa May then said that Britain will chase a “bold and ambitious” trade agreement with the EU. And to be fair to her, she is correct that it is highly “ambitious” to expect the EU to custom build us our own trade strategy that maintains all the benefits of EU membership whilst we refuse to comply with the rules and duties of the other members. However, it might be more accurate to describe it as “too ambitious” because I expect she will have an awful lot of chasing to do, and perhaps some grovelling as well.
Finally, she claimed that “one of our great strengths as a nation is the breadth and depth of our academic and scientific communities, backed up by some of the world’s best universities.” If we have managed to achieve something that is such an outstanding asset to our nation, I question why she would risk jeopardizing that success through the damage to research funding and academic collaboration, that will result from a hard Brexit strategy?
In some ways, Theresa May’s Brexit Plan has offered us some reassurance; It has reassured us that she is absolutely unfit to be Prime Minister of Great Britain because she is incapable of standing up for her own beliefs, for acting in the best interests of the whole nation and also representing the interests of all “the people” by reaching a compromise on their differing views. It is for all of these reasons that I have launched a petition to end this mayhem by calling on Theresa May to resign as Prime Minister of Britain.