Mrs May’s Brexit Election – Update 7

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Ditch the Wicked Witch

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Teresa May – The Wicked Witch of Westminster

The Independent had this yesterday: “Conservatives’ rebrand as ‘party of the workers’ failing as they struggle to shake off ‘nasty’ tag, poll shows – Exclusive poll shows 47 per cent of the public think Labour would best represent the working class“.

Don’t let “The Nasty Party” win this election

 

Pensioners – Mrs May’s Dementia & Death Tax – Pensioner Policies

The Independent had this yesterday:  “Labour are catching up with the Tories, and it’s all because of Theresa May’s self-inflicted wobble over social care  – It is baffling that the Conservative manifesto included a plan to withdraw free care visits from pensioners who own their own home“.

Today, the Independent reports: “Labour slashes Conservative by nine points in latest poll after manifesto launches“.

The Guardian had this yesterday: “Tory social care plans fail to tackle basic funding challenge, IFS says – Institute for Fiscal Studies warns of less generous system, as Labour says ‘savage attack’ on pensioners could sway election” and also this: “Jeremy Corbyn: Theresa May ‘creating war between generations’ – Labour leader calls on prime minister to drop manifesto plans to target pensions, winter fuel allowance and social care“.

Today, the same paper reports: “Theresa May under pressure over ‘dementia tax’ social care shakeup – Plan to make elderly people pay for care in their own home going down badly on doorstep say Conservative candidates“.

The Guardian’s Martin Rowson has a brilliant cartoon:  Brexit and the Tory Social Care Plans

Age UK has this: “Election 2017: Dignity in older age

On the Conservative Home website, Paul Goodman had this yesterday: “Courage means sacrifices. May pays a price for her social care plan in today’s opinion polls.”

Tyne & Wear

The Daily Telegraph has this: “Tories eye chance to ‘bury New Labour’ as support surges in the North East“.   That’s a horrible thought – but it is in the “Torygraph”.

Sunderland has been a shipbuilding town since 1346.  It used to be known as the place “Where Ships are Born”.  Between 1939 and 1945 the Wear’s  yards launched 245 merchant ships totalling 1.5 million tons, a quarter of the merchant tonnage produced in the UK during WW-2.  But post war competition from Japan and elsewhere caused a downturn in demand for Sunderland built ships.  The postwar Conservative governments gave no help to the shipyards any more than to the mines in the surrounding towns and villages.   The only good thing of any real note in Sunderland was the arrival of the Nissan Factory.

It is to be hoped that voters in Sunderland and its hinterlands,  who have suffered so greatly under successive Conservative governments  will bear in mind what is likely to happen if the Nissan Factory is a victim of Brexit – see the post yesterday.

This article in the Sunderland Echo is a little helpful: “How North East voters have reacted to policies announced so far in the General Election“.

Tories Cannot Be Trusted

This article in the Manchester Evening News may bring back some memories of the Thatcher years: “Remembering the Miners Strike 30 years on“.   Likewise this in The Guardian: “During the miners’ strike, Thatcher’s secret state was the real enemy within – The Tory leader’s eagerness to brand not only miners’ leaders but the Labour party as enemies of democracy was a measure of her extremism and determination for class revenge“.

It wasn’t just the militarised police occupation of the coalfields; the 11,000 arrests, deaths, police assaults, mass jailing and sackings; the roadblocks, fit ups and false prosecutions – most infamously at the Orgreave coking plant where an orgy of police violence in June 1984 was followed by a failed attempt to prosecute 95 miners for riot on the basis of false evidence….It’s that under the prime minister’s guidance, MI5, police Special Branch, GCHQ and the NSA were mobilised not only to spy on the NUM on an industrial scale, but to employ agents provocateurs at the highest level of the union, dirty tricks, slush funds, false allegations, forgeries, phoney cash deposits and multiple secretly sponsored legal actions to break the defence of the mining communities.A generation on, it is clear that the miners’ strike was more than a defence of jobs and communities. It was a challenge to the destructive market and corporate-driven reconstruction of the economy that gave us the crash of 2008. The outcome of the dispute brought us to where we are today: the deregulated, outsourced, zero-hours world of David Cameron’s Britain.”

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The Wicked Witch’s lead has shrunk

Can people really think that Teresa May, the Wicked Witch of Westminster, the nastiest Home Secretary since “Something of the night – vampire, Michael Howard“, is to be trusted to look after our interests ?  The latest YouGov figures suggest that the Wicked Witch’s lead has shrunk to 9 points – “Voting Intention: Conservatives 44%, Labour 35% (18-19 May)” – the lowest since the campaign began.  But, alas, the Wicked Witch is still ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs May’s Brexit Election – Update 6

The Wicked Witch’s Manifesto 

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The Wicked Witch of Westminster

The Conservative & UKIP Party (once known as the Conservative & Unionist Party),  has now published its Manifesto for the 2017 General Election called by Teresa May (aka The Wicked Witch of Westminster). The other main parties which campaign throughout the United Kingdom:  the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have also published their manifestos.  Links to these manifestos can be found on the May’s Brexit General Election page.

Needless to say, the newspapers have a lot to say on the key differences and the serious papers have fairly full coverage:-

Friday 19th May 2017 

Interestingly, Frazer Nelson wrote this in the Spectator: “Red Theresa’s manifesto – The Prime Minister’s election strategy is simply to discard ideology“.   Paul Goodman of the  Conservative Home blog also seemed to be worried about Mrs May’s approach: “The Freedom gap“.  Apparently, some Conservatives are worried about the impact of some of Mrs May’s manifesto pledges on longstanding Conservative policies.

Perhaps the most interesting Torygraph Telegraph story was not on the front pages (where it should have been) but buried in the inner pages:  “Cars are Britain’s backbone – here’s what the Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem manifestos mean for motoring“.  It is well worth a read.  The key points are:

  • The UK automotive industry employs over 800,000 people, it exports to over 130 countries around the world.
  • Foreign companies – namely Nissan, Toyota and Honda – build global models in Britain for export to the EU, as well as North America and the rest of the world.
  • More than half the cars we build here are destined for export to Europe.
  • Many of the 800,000 people employed in this industry are understandably worried about their jobs.
  • The UK’s automotive industry depends upon unrestricted access to the single market of Europe for survival.
  • More than three quarters of SMMT members (77 per cent) said that staying in Europe is best for their business when surveyed in 2016.

So if your family, your employer or your region depends on the UK motor industry or its supply chain – you should not be voting for a party which favours a hard Brexit.  Do you want the jobs to move to Belgium or some other EU territory ?

The Evening Standard reported on the polling:  “UK General Election poll: Jeremy Corbyn given boost as Labour narrows gap with Tories after manifesto launch“.

Saturday 20th May 2017

Ashley Cowburn writes this in The Independent: “Theresa May’s immigration pledge could have ‘catastrophic consequences’ for the UK economy – The report adds that politicians have ‘failed to challenge the assumption that less immigration would be good for Britain’“.

The same paper also has this:  “The Conservatives’ immigration policy damages the economy and tears families apart – and now it’s getting worse – Theresa May and Michael Fallon are too afraid to admit to how much it will cost us to cap immigrant numbers. Luckily, I don’t share such a fear ”  Key points:-

  • Reducing immigration to the tens of thousands could have “catastrophic consequences” for the British economy
  • It is a target the Wicked Witch has in the Conservative Manifesto but which she never achieved as Home Secretary since it was introduced by David Cameron in 2009
  • A net migration target of 200,000 is required to avoid collapse – particularly in the NHS and Social Care sectors
  • The policy breaks up families, stops students from studying here, prevents talented people contributing to our economy and makes it harder for Britons who have married someone born abroad to settle here
  • The Conservatives do not even know the cost of the policy.

BreakFarSelf-evidently, this is the Wicked Witch’s  sop to UKIP supporters as she seeks to capture their votes to adhere to her new Conservative + UKIP supporters’ club.

It behoves us all to remember that the United Kingdom has a long history of xenophobia which impacts on immigration policy.

Xenophobia probably goes back to the reign of Elizabeth I and the Armada and certainly to the Victorian era – see this article in The Independent: “Pride and prejudice: The Victorian roots of a very British ambivalence to immigration“.

Politicians, particularly Conservatives – and more recently UKIP,  have often sought to pander to prejudice to justify immigration control.  Older people will remember familiar expressions of their youth ranging from: “The Wogs begin at Calais” to the infamous leaflet used in the 1964 Smethwick election  If you want a nigger for a neighbour – Vote Liberal or Labour” – see this Wikipedia page on the Conservative Candidate – Peter Griffiths.

The Brexit campaign certainly involved racism and xenophobia: even the Torygraph Telegraph had this in March 2015: “‘No dogs. No blacks. No Irish’ is now Ukip policy – Nigel Farage has tried to row back his comments about ‘British-born’ workers, but don’t be fooled. This is open, explicit racism“.

See also this June 2016 account in the Guardian: “Brexit has given voice to racism – and too many are complicit

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Teresa May – Anti-Immigrant Witch

We should remember that the Wicked Witch has “form” in relation to this issue.  See this by James Kirkup in the Telegraph in October 2015: “Theresa May’s immigration speech is dangerous and factually wrong – The Home Secretary is fanning the flames of prejudice in a cynical attempt to become Conservative leader” .  The author’s conclusion was: “It’s hard to know where to start with Theresa May’s awful, ugly, misleading, cynical and irresponsible speech to the Conservative Party conference today.  If you haven’t seen reports of it, allow me to summarise: “Immigrants are stealing your job, making you poorer and ruining your country. Never mind the facts, just feel angry at foreigners. And make me Conservative leader.”  See also this in on the Politics Home site last year: “Theresa May under fire over ‘xenophobic language’ on foreign workers“.

The New Statesman had this: “Hope not Hate: far-right prejudices have moved into the mainstream – Following the ban on National Action and the murder of Jo Cox MP, what is the state of the far-right in Britain today?

What we witnessed in 2016 was actually the mainstreaming of some of the more ‘palatable’ views of the extreme far-right, with prejudicial views on Muslims, immigration and other minorities ignited by issues such as Brexit and absorbed into more mainstream political discourse.”

However, “Disagree with them or not, neither Theresa May nor Nigel Farage have called for the extermination of immigrants, asylum seekers and fellow politicians – as those within the extreme far-right have often done“.   At least, not yet.

Opinion Polls

The Observer reports the latest Opinium poll: “Tories ahead by 15 points despite gain for Labour, poll finds“.

The YouGov/Times poll: “Voting Intention: Conservatives 45%, Labour 32% (16-17 May) shows voting intention for the Conservatives down significantly to 45% (from 49% at the weekend). Labour meanwhile are on 32% (from 31%), giving the Tories a 13 point lead.

There was a least a very good Guardian cartoon today: “Martin Rowson on Brexit and Tory plans for social care – cartoon“.

 

 

Mrs May’s ‘Vanity Election’

Decline in support for the Wicked Witch

According to the most recent Com-Res poll reported in the Independent:

  • The Conservatives still have an 18-point lead, suggesting Theresa May is heading for a majority of 144 seats, the same as Margaret Thatcher’s in 1983.
  • But the Tory lead has been cut from the huge 25-point advantage in the last ComRes poll three weeks ago.
  • The Conservatives are on 48 per cent (down two), Labour on 30 per cent (up five), Liberal Democrats on 10 per cent (down two) and Ukip on 5 per cent (down two).
  • most voters, 53 per cent, “would expect to pay more tax if the Conservatives win the general election than if Labour win it”.

The Guardian has this warning from Gordon Brown: “Theresa May will cause more poverty than Thatcher, Gordon Brown warns – Former prime minister says Tory policies will reverse progress made in tackling poverty under Labour“.

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Wicked Witch Brexit Gun

There is little doubt that a majority of voters would be better off under a Labour government than under the Wicked Witch’s  Conservative & UKIP regime which would seek to reward millionaire supporters like Jeremy Hosking with tax breaks – see this in the Guardian: “Millionaire Brexit donor targets 140 remain MPs in general election – Financier Jeremy Hosking takes aim at Labour heartlands and says he wants no backsliding on Europe“.

The Guardian’s Economic Editor writes: “Is Labour’s manifesto living in fantasy land? Quite the opposite – Imperfect it may be, but Labour’s manifesto recognises the economic status quo can’t be kept going for much longer“.  The conclusion of  Mr Elliott’s article puts the case very well:-

Think about this for a moment. Real incomes are falling. Inequality is rising. The NHS  is kept going on a wing and a prayer. The economy is barely rising despite more than eight years of unprecedented stimulus from the Bank of England. Personal debt is heading back towards its previous record levels. International co-operation has rarely been weaker. There is a profound disconnect between the financial markets, where asset prices regularly scale new heights, and the state of the real economy.

Now ask yourself this. If any of the above rings true, what is the real fantasy: Labour’s idea that income, wealth and power should be a bit more evenly distributed or the idea that the current state of affairs can be sustained for very much longer?

A Coronation for the Witch?

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Teresa May – a bit brassy & thinks she’s a sovereign

The Guardian has this article on the Witch’s Campaign strategists: “Who is behind the Tory election campaign? – From Lynton Crosby to lesser-known Westminster strategists, here are the people with the ear of Theresa May”.   The participation of the odious Sir Lynton Crosby – see his Wikipedia entry – is a guarantee that every possible dirty trick will be used by the May campaign.

The Independent has this: “If Corbyn has ‘deserted’ the working class, what exactly have the Tories been doing for the past seven years? – Over her time in government, May has consistently voted against the interests of those from lower socioeconomic groups“.

Calling a general election at this time was unnecessary.  Funnily enough, the Sun (hardly a Labour supporting paper) has this: “Angry Tory MPs hit out at Theresa May’s ‘unnecessary’ snap election as they fear Lib Dem fightback will see them lose seats“.

True enough.  This has been the shortest Parliament for 45 years.  There was no need for it.  It is a “vanity election”.

May’s Conservative & UKIP Party

The Conservative & UKIP Party

The Financial Times has this: “Honorary consuls struggle with Brexit caseload – Volunteers inundated with queries about EU passports and UK residency” – it’s quite a fun read, but we can understand that all these people are listening posts for their respective governments and they will be hearing of the distress being caused to many EU nationals – not least by the notorious 85 page form described in this FT article: “EU citizens face 85-page ‘nightmare’ Brexit Britain form – Foreigners living in UK left in ‘limbo’ by onerous red tape for residence“.

The Guardian has this opinion piece: “The Tories beat Ukip. But they must not become Ukip – in winning over the populist right, Theresa May must not allow her party to be infected by their ugly and divisive politics“.  Good advice – but given too late.

brexitgun Therefore it was good to see the Brexit Gun photograph on the front page of yesterday’s Independent as a link to this:  “Third of people considering tactical voting at general election to block Tories’ hard Brexit, poll reveals – Exclusive: Backers of system say move could seriously derail Theresa May’s landslide”  The article suggests that many voters would be willing to vote tactically to avoid May’s UKIP style “hard brexit” leaving the UK outside the single market and the customs union and it refers specifically to the Open Britain website.

The Independent has an article: “Nigel Farage says Teresa May is winning because she has stolen all his policies“.   For once, the odious Farage may be speaking the truth.

The Independent also had this: “Conservatives lead over Labour narrows slightly as Theresa May’s approval rating declines – Tories heading for clear majority, according to polls, but are down from massive 24-point lead in April”

The Guardian has this: “Conservatives to retain ‘tens of thousands’ immigration pledge – Theresa May confirms promise will be in Tory manifesto despite previous failure to get anywhere near target

The present full name of the party which, unfortunately,  the Wicked Witch of Westminster now leads, is “The Conservative & Unionist Party“. Now, it has in reality become “The Conservative and UKIP Party” because the Wicked Witch is fighting the upcoming general election on a UKIP platform.

Macron is the Next President of France

8May1945The news of a successful Presidential campaign by Emile Macron against Marine Le Pen (National Front) first came last night courtesy of BBC News.  The French equivalent of UKIP lost with 33.9% of the votes against the 66.10% for President-elected Macron.   It was good this morning to see the outgoing and incoming Presidents participating together at the ceremonies commemorating the end of WW2 in Europe on 8th May 1945.

Today, the Independent has this: “In Le Pen defeat, Europe’s far right wave crashes to a halt“.  The article points out that far right anti-immigration parties are crashing across Europe.  It is thoroughly unlikely that France’s approach to Brexit will be any more friendly with President Macron who is Europhile rather than Eurosceptic.

The Guardian reports: “UK can expect Macron to be tough on Brexit, key adviser warns – Jean Pisani-Ferry says French president-elect will not seek to punish Britain for leaving EU, but is keen to strengthen bloc“.

The Financial Times has this “Britain views Macron as a tough Brexit negotiating partner – May urges voters to give her as strong a mandate as French president-elect“.

The Evening Standard has this: “Emmanuel Macron bids to lure City bankers to Paris after sweeping to victory in French presidential race“.

It is also worth looking at this report in the Express from February this year: “Pay up Britain’ Le Pen rival Emmanuel Macron hints UK should pay for migrants in France“.

One has to treat any article in the Express with a degree of scepticism, but is it worth remembering that President-elect Macron has his principal residence in Le Touquet and he votes there in French elections.   Le Touquet is in the Pas-de-Calais Department and he has therefore every good reason to be very well informed about the pressures on the region around Calais from migrants seeking to enter the UK.  The Anglo-French Le Touquet Agreement (which provides for juxtaposed immigration controls between France and England) may well be the reason why  the Pas-de-Calais and the Nord  were the two French Departments which he did not win in the Presidential race.

Therefore it may well be that France will now wish abrogate or at least to renegotiate the Le Touquet Agreement – the more so if the UK opts for a Hard Brexit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs May’s Brexit Election – Update 4

The Wicked Witch Devours UKIP

ww-westminsterHaving already broken a long established convention that local and national elections should be held separately, Teresa May, the Wicked Witch of Westminster has taken UKIP out of mainstream politics.

The BBC writes (impartially)  “Local elections: UKIP suffers big losses across England“:-  In brief:-

  • In total, UKIP lost 145 councillors and secured one seat;
  • It was wiped out in Lincolnshire, losing 13 seats, while all its nine representatives in Essex were defeated;
  • UKIP did win one seat on Lancashire County Council in a ward previously held by the British National Party;
  • In Lincolnshire, where UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall is a general election candidate for Boston and Skegness, UKIP went from being the official opposition to having no seats at all with the Conservatives taking 23 seats
  • UKIP also lost seats in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and East Sussex

UKIP2UKIP’s current leader Paul Nuttall, a former Conservative candidate in Sefton who defected to UKIP in 2004, the current MEP for North West England, and who became UKIP leader in 2016,  issued this statement:    “We are victims of our own success but a bright future still lays ahead“.

He included these assertions:

  • Our electoral success over recent years was a key driver in forcing the Conservatives to embrace our cause under a new prime minister who was campaigning for a Remain vote in the referendum a year ago.
  • Mrs May’s public dispute with the EU in recent days – which led to her speaking about standing up to Brussels in an eve-of-poll statement in Downing Street – was particularly fortuitously timed for the Conservatives
  • If the price of Britain leaving the EU is a Tory advance after taking up this patriotic cause then it is a price UKIP is prepared to pay

The New Statesman has this: “Theresa May has swallowed up Ukip – and she’s heading for a big majority” which makes these points:-

  • By donning Nigel Farage’s clothes, Theresa May has managed to take his votes, and with them, the key to Downing Street. 
  • The Tories are on  course for a blowout victory on 8 June. Its main plank is the almost wholesale absorption of the Ukip vote into the Conservative voteshare. Ukip were wiped off the map yesterday, and their votes – including much of the large number that originally voted Labour – went to the Tories.

Needless to say, the Conservatives are very happy with the outcome.  Forget the articles in the press by highly paid hacks – the editor of the influential Conservative website, Conservative Home, and former Member of Parliament for Wycombe, Paul Goodman writes this: “May’s Great Patriotic Election is now in full swing“.   He notes the outcomes and the strategy and concludes:-

All in all, there is reason at present to think that the Tory majority will be increased significantly if not substantially – maybe even sensationally.  At any rate, that’s what senior Ministers are saying in private, even if they are saying the opposite in public.

Borrowed Clothes usually do not fit

The problem with the strategy is that it depends on selling to the country a Brexit scenario borrowed from  UKIP which is not in the best interests of the United Kingdom and which has not been the policy of the Conservative Party.

If we look back at our page, The Conservative Difficulty,  it will be seen that immediately prior to the Referendum, 75% of the MP’s in Parliament were in favour of remaining in the European Union and only 25% in favour of leaving.  Of the 25% who wished to leave  – 146 in total – 130 of the 146 were Conservative MP’s.  The Cameron Referendum was a mistake and was not binding.  It was right for him to resign but it was and is wrong for the Witch to borrow UKIP’s clothes and proceed to wreck our economy to give effect to a UKIP Brexit.

This article in the Financial Times is relevant: “How the UK government is making a successful Brexit difficult“.

See also this in the Independent: “EU demands Brexit amnesty for three million citizens in UK, including people with no proof of residency  – We will not discuss our future relationship with the UK until the 27 member states are reassured that all citizens will be treated properly and humanely

The Guardian has this cartoon by Martin Rowson on the local elections:

Mrs Saturn eating her children

 

 

 

Mrs May’s Brexit Election – Update 3

A Bit Brassy and thinks she’s a Sovereign

Theresa May Easter HatThe Torygraph Telegraph has this:  “Cracked, warped and missing middles: thousands of new £1 coins ‘have major production flaws’” .  It is funny that this should come to light just now.  One of the problems facing the country at the moment is that  Teresa May, (aka the Wicked Witch of Westminster) has something in common with her famous predecessor, the late Baroness Thatcher.  She certainly has one thing in common with the late Iron Lady:  “She is a bit brassy and thinks she’s a sovereign“.    See the earlier post:  The Wicked Witch and her Easter Message.

Way back in January of this year, the Economist had this to say about the Wicked Witch of Westminster’s approach:  “Theresa May opts for a hard Brexit – The government promises a “truly global Britain” after Brexit. Is that plausible?”  As the article points out, her objective was:-

  • to leave the European Union
  • to take back control of immigration (no more free movement)
  • to withdraw from the jurisdiction of foreign courts
  • to withdraw from the EU single market and customs union
  •  to trade with the EU remaining nations as before
  • to make some payments to the EU – but nothing like as before

Unsurprisingly, the Economist’s conclusions were stark:  “Everyone will lose if there is no agreement, but nobody will lose as much as Britain. The country is in no position to bully its way to a cushy deal and EU leaders in no mood to offer one.

ww-westminsterBut that is where the Wicked Witch is proposing to take us and that is why she has called this unnecessary election.  She wishes to have an increased majority so that she can push her insane proposals through Parliament.

The Independent has this on immigration issues: “Two-thirds of people don’t believe Theresa May will achieve tens of thousands immigration target – Drop the Target: Poll also finds that four out of five people believe doctors and nurses should be granted special visas allowing them to work in the UK after Brexit“.

The Witch and Mr Toad

As the Guardian reported on the day Article 50 was triggered, a poll showed that a majority of these polled did not support a hard Brexit: “Theresa May faces public backlash over hard Brexit, poll finds – Just 35% of British public in new ICM survey would back Britain leaving the EU without agreement with other states“.

mr-toadThe Witch sought to enlist the support of her good friend Donald Trump (aka Mr Toad) and get a backup US-UK trade deal – see the archived posts for January and February this year.  Well,  things have not turned out quite as Mrs May had hoped.  There is an increasing possibility that Mr Toad might be impeached – see  this in the Independent: “Donald Trump impeachment a ‘real and growing possibility’, says former US labor secretary – Spokesperson says Senator was referring to ‘totality of challenges the President is currently facing‘” – also this in the New York Times “After first 100 days, a President Trump impeachment seems like a safe bet

More importantly, the prospect of a post Brexit UK-US trade deal has rather gone down the drain – see this in the Independent: “Angela Merkel ‘had to explain fundamentals of EU trade to Donald Trump 11 times’ – US President will now reportedly prioritise EU trade deal over post-Brexit agreement with Britain“.

The Brexit Delusion

Simon Tilford,  the Chief  Economist of the Centre for European Reform, has this op-ed in the Guardian:  “Britain’s complacency over Brexit will end in humiliation – France and Germany don’t make the mistake of thinking they would be better off outside the EU. The UK is deluding itself if it thinks it will prosper“.

The by now notorious dinner at No 10 for Mr Junker continues to be commented in the newspapers.

The Guardian has this: “May’s posturing won’t help in ‘bloody difficult’ Brexit negotiations – Theresa May taking on Thatcher’s hardline mantle could bring her domestic election success. But it will also unite the EU bloc in a desire to punish the UK

The Independent has this by Dennis MacShane (a former Europe Minister) : “Leaked details from May’s disastrous dinner with Juncker suggest Brexit could be far worse than anyone imagines –  All of the facts have been available to British journalists writing on Brexit for months. Nothing is new. But with one or two exceptions the entire UK coverage of Brexit is written entirely from a UK-EU point of view .

The article ends with this observation:-

One cannot blame Theresa May and her mono-lingual No 10 team. Not since its 1930s coverage of Germany has the majority of the British media, including the BBC, been so poor in covering the main challenge to Britain’s future in half a century.

If British citizens, businesses, inward investors and even MPs are not told any of the core publicly available facts about the position all 27 EU sovereign governments are taking on Brexit then the final outcome may be far worse than anyone imagines.”

The Guardian has this by Nick Clegg: “The EU knows Theresa May is deluded on Brexit. And soon the Tories will – While the EU 27 defend their national interests, the Brexiteers destroy ours: their vision of economic utopia cannot fend off the cold facts of economic reality“.

An example of how the EU 27 and the Commission will proceed relates to the Brexit bill.  See this in the Financial Times: “Brussels hoists gross Brexit ‘bill’ to €100bn – France and Germany back tougher approach to Britain’s departure obligations“.

The Financial Times also has this about the view of Brexit Secretary David Davis: “David Davis says it is not up to Brussels to set Brexit rules – Brexit secretary says UK is not a supplicant in negotiations

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC writes in the Guardian: “You can’t just cut and run from Europe, Theresa May – it’s illegal – If the prime minister thinks she she can retain the best bits of the European Union without any of the obligations, she really is living in another galaxy“.

An example of how to upset every EU Government is here in the Guardian: “May expected to challenge right of EU citizens to bring family to Britain – EU negotiation guidelines put Brussels and London on collision course over issue of non-European spouses after Brexit“.

If  Prime Minister May thinks she is going to get that past the EU-27 Member States, or the EU Commission,  or the EU Parliament, then one has to consider that she may have succumbed to some kind of delusional “folie de grandeur“, perhaps triggered by the sight of a Polski Sklep shop in her constituency.

State of the Parties

The latest YouGov/Sunday Times voting intention figures show the Conservatives on 44% and Labour on 31%, giving the Tories a 13 point lead (polling for 24-27 April) – Elsewhere the Liberal Democrats are on 11%, with UKIP on 6%. Votes for other parties stand at 8%.  The Scottish figures are : Voting intention (Scotland): SNP 41%, Con 28%, Lab 18% (24-27 Apr).