Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Reader’s comment: Betrayed by May


In response to Andrew Cadman: Imprisoned by the EU and £50billion for the privilege – nice one Theresa PierrePrendre wrote:

The Brexit negotiations look like so much fumbling under a blanket. Every so often, a hand comes out from under the blanket waving a piece of paper that might say this or might say that and people protest that, wait a minute, this is not what we voted for. Perception matters and the perception is that at each stage, the government loses ground. We have the misfortune to be led by a prime minister who has sacrificed her credibility and in whom trust that she wants to deliver the Brexit that a majority voted for constantly diminishes.

We do not even know whether Mrs May is her own woman. First she was in thrall to Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. Now we are told she is teleguided by Heywood and Robbins. Tony Blair is working actively to reverse Brexit. What exactly is he up to and with whom? None of these people is elected and whatever they are doing also takes place under the blanket.

If Jean-Claude Juncker condescendingly praises the British prime minister as a tough negotiator, it is a sure sign that he is confident that he has her measure. Whatever gloss is put on Monday’s events, it is clear that the British government got another black eye and that Mrs May was a loser either because she is too weak politically to hold the line or because, as a Remainer at heart, she is psychologically disposed to give way.

In this existential struggle between the London establishment and the democratically expessed wish of the British people, the former have all of the actual power, both visible and invisible. It is of course correct to say that a negotiation constantly changes shape but the suspicion is that Mrs May is manipulating a betrayal and that the longer she remains in office, the harder it is for Leavers to regain the initiative which appears to be gradually slipping out of their grasp.

The referendum question was in or out. It wasn’t half in or half out or any other version thereof. Every prime minister is replaced eventually and the fact that there is no consensus in favour of any of the alternatives shouldn’t prevent the candidates fighting it out with the Tory membership insisting the winner must be a committed Brexiteer. It needs to happen now.

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