Dies Irae, Dies Illa

Black Wednesday is Upon Us

The Torygraph Telegraph is full of Brexiteer rejoicing:  Torygraph Brexiteer Front Page.  Perhaps the worst piece comes from that absurd poseur, Jacob Rees-Mogg:  “Article 50 is upon us, so rejoice: British democracy will soon be reborn“.

As a former Downside boy, young Rees-Mogg ought to know better.  The appropriate liturgical music for Black Wednesday is not that of Easter, but rather the “Dies Irae” –  preferably as in the Verdi Requiem.  Click here for a YouTube recording (BBC Prom 4 February 2013).

The Guardian has this:  “Philip Hammond on leaving EU: ‘We can’t have our cake and eat it’ – Chancellor contradicts Boris Johnson before Theresa May speech, saying exiting EU will have ‘some consequences’

The Independent has this: “Brexit: UK’s most prominent ex-ministers unite against Theresa May’s ‘no deal’ threat – Exclusive: As Article 50 is triggered, Michael Heseltine, Peter Mandelson and Vince Cable warn of catastrophic consequences“.

The Guardian reports Mrs May as having said on Monday night:

The Wicked Witch of Westminster

When I sit around the negotiating table in the months ahead, I will represent every person in the whole United Kingdom – young and old, rich and poor, city, town, country and all the villages and hamlets in between. And yes, those EU nationals who have made this country their home…It is my fierce determination to get the right deal for every single person in this country. For, as we face the opportunities ahead of us on this momentous journey, our shared values, interests and ambitions can – and must – bring us together.”

Apparently these words were taken from a Downing Street Press Release which is set out in full on the Conservative Home Blog.  There are already comments – some of them adverse:-

  • One long platitude. This person doesn’t represent me one bit and her insincere talk of uniting is ridiculous considering how she has gone out of her way to divide this country from the very moment she made that idiotic speech in October at the conference.  Theresa May deserves to fail but Britain does not.
  • A stupid thing doesn’t become less stupid for being inevitable. The wounds created by Brexit will take decades to heal, and fresh ones (Scotland, Northern Ireland) are still to come.
  • Whatever your views on Brexit, how utterly ridiculous it is for a Prime Minister to seek for us to come together when this country has never been more divided as a result of her Governments policies. Witness the rancour on this site.
  • What ever deal is reached most people will be disappointed.  48% didn’t want to leave in the first place.  Most of the rest expect a FTA which won’t damage our exports or living standards. A large chunk of the Leave vote want immigration reduced to the “tens of thousands”. Some or all of these people will have their hopes dashed when the results of the negotiations are announced.
  • It is my fierce determination to get the right deal for every single person in this country.
    It is my fierce determination to have unorthodox sex with Beyoncé- so what, and anyway we have ample proof May will be saying the reverse the next time it serves her career. She had her chance to bring the country together, by acknowledging the limits of the mandate. She chose to trample on half the country, treat remain as not people and take our country away from us forever .  The consequences of this were
    1 A big cheer form the Conference and a nice job for keeps  2 The undying loathing of every soul that voted remain and tried to save the country  This insults my intelligence so it probably pitched about right for Daily Mail reader at whom it is presumably aimed.

EU Responses to Article 50 Notification

It is important to remember that the UK has to deal simultaneously at three levels: (i) with the governments of the 27 remaining countries;  (ii) with the Commission which acts for the Community under the direction of the Council and (iii) with the Parliament which must ratify any agreement.  That puts a great deal of pressure on the state seeking to withdraw.

The Guardian has this:  “First EU response to article 50 takes tough line on transitional deal – Exclusive: Leaked European parliament resolution puts three-year limit on transition arrangement and says no to free trade agreement in next two years“.

The Guardian has obtained a draft resolution put forward in Parliament which is not going to make comfortable reading in Downing Street.

The Article 50 Notification – Text & Announcement

The Financial Times has this on the Article 50 letter: “Theresa May’s Article 50 letter decoded – The UK government’s full Brexit letter with FT correspondents’ notes and comments

The Guardian has this on the first reaction from Mrs Merkel: “Angela Merkel rejects one of Theresa May’s key Brexit demands – Divorce settlement must come before talks about future relationship, says chancellor, as EU leaders respond to article 50 letter

The Independent was more forthright: “Brexit: Theresa May’s Article 50 launch trashed after top EU politicians reject key demands – The Prime Minister’s hopes of quick talks on a trade deal and a focus on security were dismissed on the continent“.

The Torygraph might in due course dredge up something to be said in favour of the Wicked Witch – but overall, the Article 50 letter was, as expected, pretty frostily received.


It’s only to be expected.  Teresa May’s approach is one which is well known: –

Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic



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