Monday, April 15, 2024
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‘Bloody difficult’ with her own; easy meat for Brussels


Mrs May told the BBC in an interview reported in the weekend press that she was a ‘bloody difficult woman’ and that this would soon become clear in her negotiations with M Barnier, indicating that this intransigent side of her character had yet to be seen in engaging with the EU.

It is plain that she has been easy meat for the EU predators ever since those clear red lines of the Lancaster House statement, and in particular she has been a pushover as regards the Irish border chicanery developed by the EU tactically to force the UK to remain in the customs union. But she has shown a quite vicious ‘bloody difficult’ side in dealing with her own MPs and cabinet, shown by the mafia-style Chequers meeting surrounded with extraordinarily unparliamentary threats and retribution for dissenters. And her intransigent incompetence has been clear since the rapid melting away of Lancaster House red lines, as she refuses to budge on the Chequers plan to put the UK under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice for regulation of our trade, even the size of the UK’s vast reparations payment, and an ever-widening penumbra to be included in that ECJ jurisdiction. As Andrea Jenkyns asked in the Commons, ‘at what point did Leave become Remain?’ Yet Mrs May refuses to accept that being subject to the ECJ with no say in its rules is simply remaining by another name. It clearly is. Her use of language is as Churchill put it, dense with ‘terminological inexactitude’, if not downright duplicity.

In her BBC interview she criticised Boris Johnson’s use of language. She deplored his analogy of Chequers being a like a suicide vest wrapped around the UK constitution with Barnier given the detonator. Colourful language, and it gets him on to the BBC headlines, whereas he is ignored if he uses the blander language of the bureaucrat. But his analogy carries the truth: Chequers is handing the ECJ control over UK trading arrangements and will compel total alignment with the EU but under a different name. This voluntary act of submission to the suzerainty of a foreign political power is unprecedented except for a defeated nation, as Germany was in 1919. Germany was ordered to pay vast reparations, although in today’s money the billions demanded, for nothing, by the EU is probably more than German reparations for its warmongering and devastation of Europe. What of the billions worth of equity owed to the UK in the vast EU buildings in Strasbourg: why is that written off? What of the decades of free fishing in British waters donated by the UK with no rent charged?

Indeed the proper return of our territorial waters will be prevented by Chequers and Mr Gove, who told Parliament that the other EU nations will still have rights to take a massive share of the fish in British waters after ‘Brexit’ under Chequers. Mr Gove’s use of language is the reverse of Boris’s directness – smooth and suave, but covering over a betrayal. He clearly knows this as he assures us that we can quickly move away from the Chequers settlement once inside it, and in the future possibly escape to . . . a real Brexit. The fact that the EU has stamped on such a possibility, as it has stamped on Chequers, seems irrelevant to our Chequers fantasists.

Looking back at Boris’s language on the issue of Brexit, he earlier had predicted that the EU would adopt the approach of a deterrent ‘punishment beating’, as dished out by the Nazis, again very colourful language, and no doubt offensive to EU apparatchiks, but can anyone doubt that the EU approach to these negotiations has been aggressive, destructive, threatening and the reverse of co-operative? Given the recent EU comprehensive free trade agreement with Japan, for example, the UK is indeed being ‘put into special measures’ – to coin my own analogy – and punished for daring to try to leave. Japan gets a free trade deal, the UK gets a punishment beating: indeed Mrs May asks for one. She rejects the wholly possible Irish border solution based on barcode technology away from any border – even though the EU is accepting this plan as it fears no deal getting more likely. She has become crazily obsessed with keeping Chequers even after the reason for the ‘mad riddle’ has been removed by the worried EU, and a Canada or Japan-type deal lies open for the taking. Jacob Rees-Mogg’s grouping of Brexiteer MPs has won this argument and that will enrage Mrs May as it makes her look stupid, since she denied it was possible for the EU. Rees-Mogg and Boris were right, and she is now seen to be wrong, as are all those Remain Tory MPs obeying her for reasons of jobbery, notably Mr Gove. The EU want to prop up Mrs May, now their glove puppet.

We may formally be getting the title deeds back under Chequers, but they are plastered with permanent covenants for the use of others over the property; leases controlled by others who are not friendly to the prosperity of the UK are permanently in place on the freehold. And we will be under their court of law which regulates almost everything. In terms of the relationship of language to truth and reality, Boris and May represent contradictory traditions. May is delivering Remain, heavily disguised in Brexit clothing, makeup and perfume. Boris does seem able vividly to strip off the disguise and tell it as it is in language decent people can understand. Maybe that is why he won the London Mayor elections twice, to the intense irritation of his jealous Tory MP opponents. His personal life may be akin to that of Lloyd George, but like the Welsh Wizard he can communicate and resonate with ordinary people. And he has a record of success running London, a far bigger political entity than many EU states, including that of Mr Juncker. Why do so many Conservative MPs detest this freebooting political heavyweight, who alone might be able to defeat resurgent communistic Labour in the 2022 General Election?

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Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw is a Theological lecturer and Anglican clergyman

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