Andrew Cadman: Imprisoned by the EU and £50bn for the privilege – nice one, Theresa!

Always Surrender! Theresa May’s battle cry could not be more different from those flint-faced Ulster Prods who valiantly stood their ground yesterday.

However it is only prolonging the agony: for those of us who have believed in Brexit all our adult lives, the pain and rage over what is happening is so indescribable that it is difficult to get one’s thoughts together on the subject: anger, bitterness, dark thoughts of revenge all swirl around the brain. It got so bad that I found myself praying for a Corbyn government just to put us out of our misery and humiliation.

In Theresa May, the Tories have got the leader they deserve. Let us dispense with the euphemisms: May is a coward. It is not a question of shyness, or caution, or lack of imagination (although concerning her personality all those things are plainly true). We are in the position we are because she is a coward, and utterly unfit to hold the position she does. No matter how shy, a moral person would not countenance her spineless behaviour during the referendum campaign, nailing her colours firmly to the back of the sofa while others led from the front.



The EU, of course, has got her number perfectly. They know she will do a deal at any price she thinks she can get away with, not because there is any grand conspiracy per se, but because she cannot even imagine taking any kind of risk.

We can all see that the ongoing ‘negotiations’ are just a series of miserable capitulations that will leave this country in an even worse position than it was as a fully-fledged EU member. Yesterday’s farce was not, of course, really about Ireland at all, it was instead about locking the whole of the UK into the single market in all but name in perpetuity. The text concerning ‘lack of divergence’ or ‘alignment’ failing agreement was a way of copper-fastening Michel Barnier’s demanded trade deal – to which May will, of course, accede in the coming weeks – that Britain should not in any material way diverge from the EU regulatory regime. Essentially in the single market and forced to pay £50billion for the privilege. Nice work, Theresa.

Imagine a scenario, say, three years from now: Britain is out of the EU but has accepted ‘alignment’ over Ireland and a trade agreement with the EU that essentially shackles us to its existing regulatory regime. A new British Prime Minister is in charge and wishes to diverge from EU regulation in some area or other. Immediately threatening noises emanate from Brussels, saying that such a move runs counter to the agreed trade deal and Britain risks losing trade instantly with the EU should it go down that road. Across the Irish Sea, Ireland and especially Sinn Fein start to warn darkly about ‘threats to stability’ and undermining the ‘Good Friday Agreement’. Circumventing such concerns by cutting Ulster adrift will inevitably inflame tensions in Scotland and Gibraltar who demand the same privileges. Between a rock and a hard place, the British Government sees that it is just not worth the candle. The forces of inertia will be enormous.

It gets worse. Who is to say that the EU will stop there? It could go on demanding further concessions from Britain based on new regulatory demands, otherwise it may be forced to ‘review’ existing agreements. We will be, in effect, be an EU colony, to be pitied and laughed at.

On June 23 last year, Britons took the exceptionally brave decision to escape their EU prison. Theresa May is determined to march us straight back in, and lock the door for ever.

Andrew Cadman

  • Roanoake

    At the moment this country exists in a confused dream-state where angry demands and denunciations are met with blinking confusion, as if Barmier or Drunker were asking for another cup of tea. Each day, another humiliation; each day, another concession.

    • Alan Llandrindod Wells

      Tusk and Juncker do look ecstatic.

  • Alan Llandrindod Wells

    Theresa May is now a walking disaster area.

    • The_Pr1soner

      Nothing’s for ever. No government can bind its successor, so couldn’t a future party (not a main one) bin any agreements with EU and go to WTO rules? I know we’d have paid a stupendous sum by then, but we can do that, surely?

  • Jolly Radical

    The fascinating thing about this “government” is that, just when we think they can’t get any worse, they amaze us by doing something even more idiotic than the last idiotic thing they did.

    Admittedly, they’ve now set a very high idiocy bar by trying to sell Northern Ireland to the EU and apparently forgetting that they only exist as a government because of Northern Ireland MPs. Unless Theresa seriously imagined that the DUP wouldn’t actually mind their homeland being sold off to a foreign power? Either of those options is proof of profound mental derangement on her part.

    What next? A role for the ECJ in the running of the Isle of Wight magistrates court?

    C’mon, Theresa – amaze us again!

    • Alan Llandrindod Wells

      Maybe she planned all this.
      But that would require cunning and common sense.
      So out of the question.

      • James60498 .

        She doesn’t have the cunning or sense. Obviously

        But that’s not to say that those who got her elected as Tory leader (and thereby PM) don’t.

        • Alan Llandrindod Wells

          You mean a conspiracy with a Times journalist?
          Andrea Leadsom would have slaughtered May.

        • Bernard from Bucks

          Perhaps she needs a few lessons from dear old Baldrick?

          • JabbaPapa

            It’s true that a Blackadder story centred around the Brexit negociation team at Brussels could be quite funny, if done right …

        • DespiteBrexit

          This has been my suspicion all along. She is a patsy, ignorant of her own limitations and oblivious to the fact she is being used to discredit Brexit by people who realise her limitations. Strange how all the Brexiteer candidates fell by the wayside.

          But she was making some of the right noises and I did wonder to start with if she would confound my low expectations, realising that her only chance to sit in the pantheon of greats alongside Thatcher was to be an agent of change and deliver a good Brexit.

          • James60498 .

            She made some good noises too as Home Secretary but they too turned out to be no more than that. Or at least her speechwriters made good noises.

            But yes. Patsy May. I think that’s a good name for her.

          • Ahobz

            She was a glove puppet for Hill and Timothy. Without Hill and Timothy she is nothing.

    • JB

      Doesn’t surprise me at all. She was always a moron of the highest order and one of the keenest advocates to turn the Tory party into New Labour.

    • Great Briton

      Why are the Brexit MPs allowing this?
      Time for some heads to be raised above the parapet

      • digitaurus

        Apparently one of them managed to tweet something.

  • When May became PM, I thought “Good, she’ll stand up to Mrs Merkel” as no woman I’ve ever know wants to be bested by another woman. Unfortunately, the German electors have kept Mrs Merkel out of the way by voting for the AfD. Pity, I would have enjoyed a confrontation between the two women!

    • CRSM

      May would have had ‘A fit of the vapours’ and deliquesced.

      • Yes, and I had expected more of her when she was appointed; I was obviously wrong in expecting another Margaret Thatcher.

        • Ahobz

          Being a “Bloody difficult woman” was a smokescreen for her multiple incompetences.

          • If she had multiple incompetences, I hate to think of what other recent Prime Minsters had.

  • martianonlooker

    May is to brexit Britain what Inspector Clouseau is to the Surete.

  • Colkitto03

    God bless the DUP

    • Indeed so. Seems to me axiomatic that if your have free trade with one EU member with one part of the UK, you have it between all, or you have a controlled border with that part of the UK. One or the other. Sure as the dickens, her cravenness will sell you down the river, using your own money.

      • Colkitto03

        They seem to be quoting a situation which the Ukraine has which means it has an open border with the EU. The Ukraine are neither in the single market of the customs areas but are allowed an open border on the basis of keeping some sort of ongoing regulatory equivalence?
        But it has to be the whole of the UK or none of the UK
        The devil will be in the detail!

        • It always is. It was a really good catch by the DUP. It strikes me that a good part of the bad of the EU (other than the political parts) IS the regulatory regime. At least that’s how it looks from here.

  • BermyDroid

    Just a perfectly written article – I suspect the second paragraph sums up the sentiments of the 17.4 million (and many millions more) people who voted, want and demand a clean break. Rage is building across this nation like nothing I’ve ever seen.

    • brownowl

      It’s the third paragraph that really hits home for me, context having been set by the second paragraph.

      Fantastic article. It has quite spoilt my day.

  • Skulduggery

    The Guardian is reporting David Davis’s quote:

    “The presumption of the discussion was that everything we talked about applied to the whole United Kingdom. I re-iterate: alignment isn’t harmonisation, it isn’t having exactly the same rules. It is sometimes having mutually recognised rules, mutually recognised inspection, all of that sort of thing as well. And that is what we are aiming for.”

    So is Davis signalling that he has now thrown in his lot with the appeasers and traitors?

    Conservative Party members should be contacting their constituency chairmen and making it clear that their membership is hanging by a thread if the government is prepared to sell out the voters.

    Betrayal is not too strong a word for these actions. If they renege on the vote, they prove that they are not fit to receive more votes.

    • JabbaPapa

      No, Davis is simply pointing out the facts of the realpolitik, insofar as hopefully it won’t be destroyed by negative forces.

      It is trivially easy (from lengthy experience in these matters) for the lawyers of multinational companies to ensure that their products will obey the norms and standards of all of their markets simultaneously — tax questions aside.

      What Mr Davis is saying is that it will be necessary in UK Law to create specific provisions to help British businesses wishing to continue trading cross-border with EU Member States in their need to ensure that their trade with the EU — taxes and tariffs aside — will at least not be hindered by divergence of standards ; which BTW should NOT require that businesses operating solely with UK products on UK soil must necessarily carry on obeying those norms, except for those that the Government intends on carrying forwards in the Repeal Bill(s), as Parliament shall or shall not agree case by case.

      But this does actually cut both ways — businesses in EU Member States wishing to trade in the UK will need to comply with British norms and standards, and those EU Member States will have no control over any future UK changes to those norms, but will still need to obey.

      • Skulduggery

        I disagree. The EU can have its own regulations which companies exporting to it accept.

        EU companies wishing to export to the UK accept our regulations.

        This is the situation with all trading relationships.

        However, UK law does not have to be changed to permit this.

        At the moment of Brexit the UK and EU’s regulations will be the same. However, “Maintaining regulatory alignment” if it means anything means that the UK and EU have the same regulations. The EU has no intention of allowing a country outside the EU to determine what its regulations are which means that the UK will immediately have to change its own regulations to comply with any EU changes.

        That is not acceptable.

        Therefore we cannot accept any such agreement if we are to leave the EU in more than name only.

        • JabbaPapa

          However, “Maintaining regulatory alignment” if it means anything means that the UK and EU have the same regulations

          No.

          It would mean that UK businesses wishing to trade with the EU would need to follow EU regulations for the purposes of those trades — and the purpose of that limited concession would be to help assure the conditions of a trade deal.

          which means that the UK will immediately have to change its own regulations to comply with any EU changes

          Not really, but it does mean that anyone in the EU wishing to do business in the UK will immediately need to comply with any future UK changes to norms and standards.

          • Skulduggery

            “It would mean that UK businesses wishing to trade with the EU would need to follow EU regulations for the purposes of those trades — and the purpose of that limited concession would be to help assure the conditions of a trade deal.”

            If that was the case then the UK government would not need to be involved. The EU sets the regulations for access to its own markets anyway, regardless of any input from other countries.

          • JabbaPapa

            Trade is the general purpose of the UK’s proposed post-Brexit UK-EU Treaty.

          • Skulduggery

            “It would mean that UK businesses wishing to trade with the EU would need to follow EU regulations for the purposes of those trades — and the purpose of that limited concession would be to help assure the conditions of a trade deal.”

            It doesn’t, once again that would be the situation with no agreement. The phrase used the word “maintaining” which means that the status quo would remain unchanged. In reality that would mean that the UK could not change any regulations but the EU would.

          • JabbaPapa

            I understand your misgivings, but I honestly think you haven’t quite thought through what the implications would be on all sides.

      • NickIV

        If it as you portray, then there is no requirement to talk to the EU about it –
        it is a purely British law.
        If a British law is required for businesses to produce outside the British standards for export, surely the laws must exist now. If not, how do we export to the rest of the world?

  • Skulduggery

    It can’t be said too often. The DUP should be leading the negotiations. Can’t we have a proper conservative party allied to it?

  • Flaketime

    Yet again someone who should know better quoting the fake news May has agreed to a 50 Billion Euro settlement. This is not true. May HOPES the final bill will be as low as 50 Billion but she has agreed to liabilities as high as 100 billion Euros !

    For Gods sake why give this utter failure of a negotiator the credit for something she doesn’t deserve, and why allow yourself to continually be deceived by the lies of the media?

    https://www.ft.com/content/cabf22e2-d462-11e7-8c9a-d9c0a5c8d5c9

    The FT has never been a fan of Brexit but at least they can tell the truth of the situation.

    • Gloria Hole

      With hidden fees, liabilities, bailout mechanism, EU overspending, migrant costs and the fees the public are actually told about – the £350m per week isn’t enough by more than a half.

  • JabbaPapa

    The Irish border question in Brexit is a perfect case study of everything that is wrong with the EU.

    To achieve agreement on this question, which in real terms should be a relatively simple matter, has clearly become a monster negociation between 28 EU Member States and their Governments and Parliaments and governing Political Parties, plus the devolved Northern Irish and Irish Republic’s majority and opposition parties and Britain’s opposition, plus the European Commission and the European Council and the European Parliament, each of which has its own agendas and sub-agendas and any of which could throw a veto-bomb into anything they might happen to dislike at any stage of these negociations, which are being completely destroyed by the EU bias towards happy-clappy consensus and Government via Coalition.

    A finer recipe for political paralysis is hard to conceive, but these men are expert bakers.

    It’s not the Tories who are mucking up Brexit, it’s the EU and the other 27 Member States.

    • mudlark1

      I can’t agree with you. The Tories are more than happy for us to remain and have no intention of making a clean break which I believe is the only option if we are going to achieve Brexit. We no longer live in a democratic country and the Tory Party does not believe in democracy. The only party I would be prepared to vote for, if it were ever to stand in England, would be the DUP.

      • JabbaPapa

        I agree with you that a so-called “hard Brexit” is (presently at least) the only realistic scenario, but apart from that ?

        Please, Britain is a Nation of Traders, and the Government would be betraying the Nation by doing anything else than to seek a “good enough” trade deal by all available avenues. Not excluding the most unrealistic and unlikely.

        But I cannot agree with your “the Tories are more than happy for us to remain” …

        Since even before the Referendum the potential necessity of an interim period has been talked about. The possibility of such an interim was, indeed, a Remainiac argument to vote for Remain !!

        But in real terms, an interim is just that — it’s temporary ; which means that it will come to an end.

        I do understand that people can be confused and the opposite of reassured by bewildering detail in legal constitutions and legal proposals, and there’s little that I could do personally, but much that the PM and other competent Ministers could, to try and explain at least the publicly available elements of the negociation position in some form of a more normal English, accessible or more easily explainable to most, but it’s still possible that the delicacies of the negociations as they stand now might prevent them from making statements in anything other than Legalese.

        Which no honourable British Gentleman should be willingly fluent in.

        • mudlark1

          No, I’m not confused. We’ve had our interim period – we voted out in June 2016 and it’s nearly 2018 – more than enough time for us to get our house in order. As for the PM and competent (surely incompetent) Ministers explaining the legalese – please don’t be so patronising. We all recognise when we’re having the wool pulled over our eyes and rest assured, I wouldn’t expect you to be able to do anything about it. Who are you anyway?

          • JabbaPapa

            We’ve had our interim period

            No we haven’t.

            The currently ongoing period carries on until 2019, and the UK meanwhile is still a Member State of the European Union.

            And yeah sorry, you are confused — but you’re in good company, as nearly everyone is these days, certainly not excluding myself from the roll-call of the confused.

          • Gloria Hole

            Why does it carry on until 2019?

            I was under the impression that Article 50 was a 2 year process, and that we voted to leave in 2016. Who delayed triggering Art.50 and why?

          • JabbaPapa

            Who delayed triggering Art.50 and why?

            Remainiacs, led by that harridan Gina Miller, for the purpose of attempting to destroy the democratic process of leaving the EU and the expressed will of the British people to do so.

          • Gloria Hole

            It should have been triggered on the morning of the 24th June, before Miller & Co even came on the scene.

          • JabbaPapa

            The legal problem was that the Referendum Act 2015 failed — most likely by accidental oversight — to specifically authorise, endorse, and require the triggering of Article 50 by the Prime Minister under the full Authority of Crown and Parliament in the event of a Leave victory.

          • mudlark1

            I think all these technicalities are simply created to pretend the process is far more complicated than it needs to be. It didn’t seem to be too difficult to join the single market and agree to the Maastricht Treaty but apparently leaving it is. As for the amount we need to pay – didn’t a very junior civil servant blow apart the EU’s claim to a massive payout a couple of months ago?

      • Mojo

        I came to this conclusion when I read a very deep and long article on abortion laws in NI. They had more respect for the unborn child than any recent Westminster Government. I went on to read the DUP manifesto and realised their love of the UK and true conservatism was exactly what I had missed and the reason why I stopped voting. I then found out after joining UKIP, that Nigel Farage and the DUP are great friends and supportive of each other. Our manifesto is similar in many ways to the DUP. And yet both parties regularly get vilified and verbally abused by all other parties.

        The majority of British voters would vote either DUP or UKIP if they would only look at the manifestos and the ethos of these parties instead of believing the crap they read in the press.

        And let us not forget the anger the orangemen have to put up with and the lies told about them. Their history is that of William of Orange who stopped much violence and hate in Ireland. It is just that the Irish are intolerant of other religions and many of the clans were intolerant of each other. The whole history of Ireland is violence and intolerance towards each other and yet they blame the English for trying to bring some order and peace. I know this is a simplistic view of a complicated situation but when one delves I to Irish history there is much they have brought on themselves but like to blame ‘the sibling’

        • mudlark1

          Well said.

      • Gloria Hole

        Thank god I moved to NI over 25yrs ago.

  • Mojo

    Everyone keeps talking of WTO and walking away. So many times we should have walked. So many times the Brexiteers in Parliament should have shouted louder and threatened a coup. They do not and they will not. It seems the strengths in this country are most definitely within the electorate. It seems the intelligent understanding of our future and being apart from the EU is with those who voted to Leave. It doesn’t matter how much humiliation the EU heaps on our country and it’s people the Remainers and Mrs May in particular cowardly bows their heads and go back for more.

    When will those Brexiteers in government actually start to call her out. When will they stop talking and start acting for 17.4 million people, many of whom hadn’t voted for some twenty years. Will it take a total selling out of our country and another civil unrest before anyone in Westminster will actually serve the people who elect them.

    • Gloria Hole

      It would seem JRM heard your call and took to twitter to voice his concern.

      • digitaurus

        Twitter, eh? That should do it then.

    • digitaurus

      Hahaha – so this is the Remainers fault? You broke it – you fix it.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Yes, unfortunately it is your fault. All your fault. Without your treasonous sentiments over many decades and your unquestioning submission to a corrupt EU hegemony we would not even be where we are.

        Sorry about that.

        • digitaurus

          Take responsibility for your own screw-ups before it’s too late. Get rid of Theresa May and implement a ‘proper’ Brexiteer project. I agree with Mojo in that respect – “When will those Brexiteers in government actually start to call her out”? The answer is never because Brexiteers are all mouth and no trousers.

  • Flaketime

    Here is the speech of another woman in control of the country, compare and contrast the feelings, and the way the public reacted to her:

    My loving people
    We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.

    I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.

    I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you on a word of a prince, they shall be duly paid. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over these enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.

    • Colonel Mustard

      If only . . .

      Britain has been betrayed. Quislings WAS the right word.

  • DespiteBrexit

    My word for May also begins with a “c”, but I am afraid that it is a bit shorter and blunter than “coward”. However cowardice does seem to be running rampant in the Conservative Party right now.

    Despite considerable misgivings about her abilities and character when she seized the throne, I thought that May might at least understand that she had one job, and only had to do that job and do it well to go down as an important figure in British history – alongside the likes of Thatcher, whom she clearly envies. However even my moderate expectations have proved beyond her wit.

  • Marcus Orr

    I am a Unionist from Northern Ireland, not necessarily a DUP supporter but a strong unionist all the same. Since yesterday we can conclude the following:
    1) The government of the ROI is ready and willing to stick up for the wishes and concerns of the Irish nationalist community in Northern Ireland (right up to using its EU veto if necessary). Fair play to them, nothing wrong with that, completely reasonable position for them to take, to support “our people in the North” – i.e. the Sinn Féin & SDLP supporters in Northern Ireland.
    2) The British Government is prepared to ride roughshod over the wishes and concerns of the (still majority) unionist population in Northern Ireland, the government’s policy seems to be to take a completely neutral position between the 2 communities in Northern Ireland, or a slightly pro-Nationalist position.
    Theresa May is not completely stupid; she must know that the DUP had to reject her position agreed with the ROI & EU which involved a different and special status for Northern Ireland apart from the rest of the UK. She is deliberately isolating the DUP; after 1 or 2 weeks in which the DUP now gets slime poured over it (gay-hating, abortion-denying bowler hat wearing bigots ! etc. etc.) in the media she thinks they will be softened up and ready to attack again with a similar deal.

    • Gloria Hole

      If she didn’t learn that the DUP – and likewise nationalists/republicans – don’t give dot about media opinion during her time as a politician, then there truly is no hope for her.

    • digitaurus

      Nope – Theresa May really is that stupid.

  • Maximum Overdrive
  • Waggler

    End this game of Hokey Cokey.

    …let’s just leave the EU.

  • hugodegauche

    Strange that any of the above needs writing
    – May’s cowardice was always clear
    – The liberal elites run the State, Media and Business – the idea they would permit Brexit is bizarre
    – Most people are pretty sensible and don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. However utlimately the idea one can vote their way out of this mess is going to prove false