Theresa, if you are going to ambush the Commons with your deal, make sure you’ve done your homework first since it’s four strikes and you’re out!
Regular viewers of this blog will gather that in my opinion, Mrs. May should be awarded for her unswerving persistence (or brute obstinacy) in trying to get this Brexit deal through, a feat which resembles a game of Twister combined with three-dimensional tug of war. With all the disparate groups harbouring their own interests, it’s no wonder that May hasn’t asked for the P45 and taken up embroidery. It must be like having five mothers-in-law (heaven forbid) in the car, each with a steering wheel, constantly quarrelling about which direction to take.
We know that she’s waiting for one minute to midnight and wants the ERG et al. to stare into the abyss. But whatever the strategy is (perhaps she’ll let us know when she’s come up with one), if would be better for Party and country if she could sit on her hands and refrain from yet another ambush.
The Prime Minister clearly has her own idiosyncratic house style. Unfortunately, it’s one that she’s used on three occasions without any success.
Ambush One: Having pebble-dashed the press with heartfelt assurances that there would be no gratuitous call for an Election, by Spring 2017 the Maybot reneged on her promise and called an election to try and ambush the Labour Party. The Tories were riding high in the polls and there was every expectation of an increased majority.
Ambush Two: This time blame can be laid at the idiot feet of May’s so-called advisors, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. These potato-headed dimwits concatenated a manifesto that was about as inviting as Anna Soubry’s underwear after 10 pints and a curry. To add yet more insult, May inflicted this “crusty botch of nature” (W. Shakespeare©) upon her unsuspecting Cabinet the day before it was announced.
Corbyn’s lame response? A complete nonsense of socialist codswallop. Like Jimmy Savile throwing out sweeties at a children’s party, the Labour manifesto was a shopping list of bribes, promising free stuff to low-information benefit vermin, witless millennials and the grubby hordes of union sheeple.
Ambush Three: Having sweated over a Brexit deal with her inner sanctum for two years, May crept up behind her Cabinet yet again with the Chequers Deal. The plan of attack was to make the venue an escape room, closing all the exit doors and arranging cabs (presumably to Beachy Head) for any Secretary or Minister who wanted to resign that day.
Knitting water is easier than trying to comprehend May’s reasoning. It appears that her strategy is to cattle-prod (or cajole) as many of the dissenting groups, such as the ERG and disaffected Labour Party Brexiteers into voting for her deal.
If you fancy a trip to the bookies, my prediction is that she’ll be 50 or more seats short of victory at this vital Commons vote. However, she may get over the line at a third vote, before the 29th March deadline for Article 50.
This ambush technique is fine so long as you have prepared the ground beforehand. Otherwise it’s just a mindless shot in the dark. Sadly, this has not, hitherto, been the case and this is why she has made this tortuous journey all the more problematic for her, the Party and the country.
No Alternative Plan
Despite ferocious opposition, there is no prescribed alternative plan, apart from the somewhat frivolous references to a nebulous Norway or Canada-style deal.
However much of a turkey May’s deal may be, it only covers the period of the transition, when the trade deals will be struck. We must also hope that Attorney General Mr. Cox and his cohorts, comes up with an interesting codicil on the backstop. The nudniks of the EU have postponed their golf and bottom kicking contests this weekend, to clear their agendas in readiness for a Battle Royale with the UK entourage. I’m not sure if this is good news or bad, but as they say ‘if a deal is going to be done it will happen at the door of the courts’ which is why Article 50 should not be extended.
Let’s face it, anyone with a nano-particle of common sense (not you, Gary Lineker) realises that detaching ourselves from the corrupt tentacles of Europe was not going to deliver instant pleasure. Brexit is a generational decision and we should look ahead to our medium- to long-term interests rather than obsessing over the day-to-day minutiae. If any of us focussed only on the short-term gains of any change we would never come out from under the duvet let alone go to the office, take a holiday or fly to the Moon.
Brits tend to suffer an inferiority complex when viewing our relationship with our hoity-toity European neighbours. The reality is that since its conception, the European Union has grown only half as much as the USA or the UK. Like cheap deals in Magaluf or French riots, a permanent feature of the EU seems to be an unemployment rate stuck at 9%. Far better that we hitch our wagon to the fastest economies of the world and reap the requisite rewards.