Tuesday, 17 January 2017
A wash out from Theresa May
I've always thought Britain should leave the EU. I have never seen a convincing argument that political subordination is required to secure the maximum level of economic cooperation. I voted to leave and I would do so again. I went into this with open eyes in the full knowledge that there would be a price to pay. I campaigned on the back of a plan and have argued fiercely to ensure that the price we do pay will be affordable.
I spoke out against the Brexiteers and backed Theresa May because I foolishly thought that her influence would ensure a measured and sensible Brexit. I have never been more wrong about anything in my life. In just a few short passages May has driven a horse and cart through all good sense.
For starters May has misunderstood the exam question. The process of leaving the EU is to negotiate a framework for leaving and a framework for continued cooperation. Instead she has taken it as the process of securing a trade deal - which doesn't even begin to acknowledge the depth and complexity of the task. Because of this Theresa May will ensure we pay the maximum price possible.
By any estimation there is no possibility of securing a comprehensive agreement in two years and if we reach any kind of impasse then all of the leverage falls to member states as we beg for an extension.
Worse still, May has fallen for the mantra that no deal is better than a bad deal and is prepared to walk away from the table. This would result in the WTO option and would be the single most egregious act of economic self harm ever recorded. As much as that is to be avoided there is now every chance that it will happen by accident as our time expires.
May has drunk deeply from the Brexiteer kool aid and Britain is about to find itself substantially poorer with fewer opportunities for trade. This will be the Tory Iraq. Blundering with half a clue and no plan and no real understanding of the landscape, resting the fate of the adventure on some overly optimistic patriotic nostrums that fold at first exposure to reality.
Today begins a dark chapter for Britain. We are about to find out just how criminally inept Tories can be in ways even I never anticipated. Today marks the beginning of a new political era that will define the next two decades of European politics. Mark this day as the day Britain shot itself in the foot.