Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Hanging together

There are, and always have been, only three possible states in which the UK could find itself in relation to the EU, and in two years, the Prime Minister has argued that each, in turn, is the ‘best’ outcome for the UK whilst at the same time demanding that we accept that she has maintained an entirely consistent position.  The three are: full membership, with all the benefits and obligations that entails, some sort of associate membership which gives some of the benefits in return for some of the obligations, and third-party status which gives none of the benefits in return for meeting none of the obligations.
Prior to the referendum, the Prime Minister was ‘quite clear’ that membership was far and away the best option; since the referendum, she has repeated many times that no deal was better than a bad deal where we didn’t get to choose which benefits and obligations we have, and yesterday her position became one of saying that a bad deal, even a very bad deal, is better than no deal at all.  She has been ‘quite clear’ about each position in turn, although the words ‘quite clear’ when uttered by Theresa May don’t have the same meaning as when uttered by the rest of us, usually meaning that she does not, in fact, have a clue.
The surprising thing in the last 24 hours is that the cabinet is still hanging together, although that might be just because of their fear that if they don’t, they will, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, assuredly hang separately.  Things might change, of course; but at present it looks extremely unlikely that the deal being presented to the cabinet today will get through parliament even if they keep hanging together in support of it.  Having worked her way through supporting all three of the potential options as the ‘best’ for the UK, where can the Prime Minister turn next?

1 comment:

dafis said...

Well summarised John.

As for the silly old Mrs May she cannot, will not,see any inconsistency in her migration through various stances towards EU/Brexit. Primarily she is dense, utterly reliant on guff fed to her by advisers, hence her inability to venture off script without stumbling over the first few words she spouts once she deviates from her written/rehearsed path.I remember thinking when she was appointed P.M in mid 2016 - if that is the best the Tories can muster we got no f***in' chance! Yet she was reelected by an indifferent electorate (aided by the "no surrender" wing of Ulster politics)in 2017 ! NationCymru talks about "democratic deficit" in a current article, here's living proof that such a deficit can get to the top !