Sunday, 3 July 2016

Britain can't afford a deadhead like Leadsom

EU integration goes down to the minute level. We have cooperation agreements and joint research programmes on things as diverse as the mating habits of squirrels to the effects of air pollution on the elderly in cities. Some of it is egregious nonsense, some of it, rather a lot in fact, is not. A lot of it actually reduces the amount of spending on social and scientific research and it makes no sense to replicate that kind of activity.

But to do this well you need offices, staff contracts, equipment, some purchased, some on long term leases, and some contracts go well into 2025. All of this is what we have agreed to participate in. Now consider the fact there are thousands of such projects and international programmes. Imagine the expense and ill will we would create by unilaterally pulling out of them without meeting our spending commitments. And imagine what would happen to our soft power and influence. Also imagine what would happen to our credit rating. It's just not a sensible proposition is it?

So obviously you would not want someone with a head full of Vote Leave nonsense in charge of the Brexit process. Certainly not one who thinks there is a fast track Brexit that imagines it all sorted out by next spring. Certainly not the sort of dullard who thinks we can keep our EU budget contributions straight away and hand it over to the NHS without even asking what the NHS would spend it on. You wouldn't put a moron like that in charge of looking after the class hamsters at half term. Yet many of my fellow Brexiteers propose to make one such person the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

This person has no regard to safeguarding access to the single market believing WTO rules are sufficient. This person prioritises ending freedom of movement over economic stability even though ending freedom of movement would not substantially impact immigration. Effectively this person is happy to take a wrecking ball to our international standing and our economy. Were that Gove, it would be for ideological reasons. That would almost be forgivable. But no. The person who proposes this is Andrea Leadsom. Why does she think this? Because she is a mouth-breathing cretin with the IQ of a potato.

Those of you who know me well know I have argued for Brexit all of my adult life. You also know me to be broadly liberal. And so you have some idea how much it pains me to advocate Theresa May. But that is the choice we face. Either we have an adult with half a clue in control or we have a village idiot who makes Boris Johnson look attentive and well versed.

And is there a risk that Brexit will not happen if May is Prime Minister? Possibly, but slight. I think our political class behind closed doors will have got the message that we are out of patience for their games. They would be playing with fire. Consequently I think it's a safe bet to say that we will leave the EU under May. If not, then we have another long fight on our hands but I would prefer that to a unilateral and unnecessarily hostile severance from the EU because we had an idiot for a Prime Minister.

And I am sure the Tory right and the Ukippers don't care about the fallout should we aggressively part ways with the EU, but these people are nihilistic wreckers who haven't really thought about the consequences. Anyone who thinks they have nothing to lose should give the matter some further thought. People like that have the potential to do very serious damage to the UK economy and threaten the peace.

If we are to leave the EU then we should do it properly or not at all. That means having measured, rational people at the helm and not dogmatic ideologues who don't care who gets hurt by their cavalier approach. If that means Brexit takes twenty years then so be it. Nothing is served rushing matters and there is zero reason to play Russian roulette in the manner she proposes. None whatsoever.

I am no fan of May but she does have an idea of how complex Brexit is and she does have some considerable experience of dealing with Brussels. She will go into the process with open eyes. We do not need a naive nincompoop whose ideas and demands will be laughed at. Such bovine stupidity could very well result in us being forced to choose between no deal at all or a deal that makes us politically and materially worse off than before and on a tight leash to the EU. That's what happens when you go at diplomacy like a bull in a china shop.

I don't care if Leadsom tickles your right wing floppy bits. She is simply not a credible person. May, dreadful though she is, is someone Brussels will at least take seriously. Once this process is over and done with and we are out of the EU, go nuts, elect whoever you want, but this is not the time to be turning over the asylum to the lunatics - especially ones not taking their medication.

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