11 July 2017 – The Witch’s Attempted Reboot
Torygraph Telegraph has this, behind its paywall: “Theresa May faces up to her ‘new reality’ with extraordinary plea to Labour for cross-party cooperation (£)“.
See also this in The Independent: “Theresa May admits her flagship gig economy report could end up ‘gathering dust’ as PM bungles relaunch – PM refuses to guarantee Taylor Review legislation into exploitative workplace practices“.
There was a splendid sketch by John Grace in the Guardian: “You call that a relaunch? The Maybot’s broken record is still not fixed – One year and two reboots into her premiership, Theresa May finds herself welcoming a report aimed at helping people stuck in jobs without any security“.
The key passages in the Wicked Witch’s speech:-
- “When I commissioned this report I led a majority government in the House of Commons. The reality I now face as Prime Minister is rather different.”
- “In this new context, it will be even more important to make the case for our policies and our values, and to win the battle of ideas both in Parliament as well as in the country.”
- “So I say to the other parties in the House of Commons – come forward with your own views and ideas about how we can tackle these challenges as a country.”
May’s plan is a lead balloon which has no chance of flying even within her own party. The
Torygraph – Telegraph has this behind its paywall: “Theresa May’s plans to work with Labour on Brexit will hasten her downfall, Tory ex-ministers say“.
The New Statesman has this damning article: “Theresa May’s premiership is doomed – her analysis is right but her solutions aren’t – Her “relaunch” has only brought her sell-by date closer“.
There is to be a new parliamentary group. See this in The Independent: “MPs set up new all-party group to combat ‘destructive’ hard Brexit – ‘We won’t accept MPs being treated as spectators in the Brexit process“.
- “MPs from all parties have formed a group to fight against a “destructive” hard Brexit, with former Tory minister Anna Soubry and former Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna among those leading the effort.”
- “Politicians from the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru have also signed up to lead the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on EU Relations.”
It is worth looking at this editorial in the Guardian on 10 July 2017: “The Guardian view on cross-party cooperation: backbench MPs hold the cards – Political parties are too wary to cooperate in the way that voters say they like. But backbench MPs can make it work on an issue-by-issue basis“.
Brexit – Legal Issues
One of the stupider “red lines” which the Wicked Witch has imposed on her Brexit negotiating team is that the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (“the ECJ”) should no longer bind the UK.
There can be no doubt that the Wicked Witch also wishes to abolish the appellate jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (“the ECHR”) if she survives to consummate Brexit.
But in the event of Brexit, the ECJ will expect to have ultimate jurisdiction, not only over the Brexit deal itself, but also over the post Brexit rights of EU citizens, EU standards and many other issues.
Professor Sir David Alexander Ogilvy Edward KCMG PC QC FRSE is a Scottish lawyer and academic who was a Judge of the ECJ from 1992 to 2004. The Independent has this report based on the opinion of Sir David: “Anti-EU ministers show ‘invincible ignorance’ over European Court, says top ex-judge“.
Torygraph Telegraph has this: “Euro-judge warns of unpleasant Brexit surprise from European Court“.
Hopefully, “surprise” will be the precursor of an eventual enlightenment, if not of the Wicked Witch and her Brexit Clowns, at least of sufficient backbenchers to avoid a Brexit disaster.
Post Brexit Citizens’ Rights
On 23rd June 2017 the New Statesman had this: “Theresa May missed an easy opportunity on EU citizens’ rights – If the UK had made a big, open and generous offer, the diplomatic picture would be very different“.
The Guardian had this on 26th June 2017: “EU citizens ‘bitterly disappointed’ with post-Brexit rights offer – Theresa May’s proposal is vague, say campaigners, amid anger that 150,000 people with permanent residency cards have to reapply for ‘settled status’“.
On 27th June 2017 the Business Insider had this: “All the rights EU citizens in the UK are set to lose after Brexit“.
By 10th July 2017:-
(1) ABC News had this: “EU Parliament condemns UK Brexit proposals on citizen rights” ;
(2) Politico had an expanded account: “Brexit ‘bad cop’ gets angry over citizens’ rights – The European Parliament flexes its muscles and threatens a veto“;
(3) The Evening Standard had this: “Theresa May’s offer to EU citizens living in UK ‘falls far short’“.
On 12th July 2017 the BBC reported: “Brexit: EU negotiator Barnier firm on citizens’ rights“.
Also on 12th July 2017 the Independent had this: “Brexit and Trump have forced the EU to listen to its critics and change, admit its top officials – Exclusive: Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief strategists tell The Independent Europe knows it must change“.
13th July 2017 – Brexit Woes
The Gibraltar Chronicle has this: “Queen hints at Gibraltar row during state banquet speech”.
Torygraph Telegraph has this: “Theresa May’s Government could ‘come apart like a chocolate orange’ over Brexit, watchdog chief warns“.
The Independent carries the same story: “Brexit: Government’s new customs IT system heading for £34bn ‘horror show’, watchdog warns – The National Audit Office says the Government is only just starting to realise how difficult Brexit will be“.
Back in February 2016, Peter Hitchins wrote this for the Mail on Sunday: “The EU is our own Hotel California: We can check out, but we’ll never leave“.
This is worth re-reading because the idea of the Brexit Referendum being merely a device to extract more concessions from the EU may well have been correct.
The trouble is that when the Referendum result came in, the Cameron government bottled out and the Wicked Witch and her Brexit Clowns took over. Knowing, as they did, the strict timetable requirements of Article 50, the first priority of the May Government should have been to work out the impact of Brexit on every aspect of our economy and our lives, prepare a Brexit game plan, have it costed and laid before Parliament.
This should have happened BEFORE there was any question of triggering Article 50 but May and her Clowns did not bother. So far, there has been no evidence that the May Government has the faintest idea of what Brexit will do to the economy or to our lives.
The Evening Standard has this: “Catastrophic’ Brexit could cost 70,000 City jobs if Britain leaves Single Market, major new report warns“. It will be interesting to see how the Brexit Clowns propose to avoid that outcome.
The New Statesman has this: “An epic tale of hubris and humiliation: Theresa May’s masochism premiership – She won the ultimate prize, and then tossed it away so carelessly“. The article ends with this rather sad conclusion: “Only she can really know how it feels to have won the ultimate prize and then to have tossed it away so carelessly. She has no one to blame but herself. And so the masochism premiership goes on – for now“.
Today the Conservatives table the so-called “Great Repeal Bill” in the House of Commons.
The Guardian has this: “Labour threat to defeat Theresa May over Brexit bill – Conservatives risk defeat over ‘great repeal bill’ that unbundles EU laws if they do not make concessions to opposition parties, warns Keir Starmer“.
The Leader of the Opposition was not there. He has gone to Brussels – see this in the Independent: “”Bromance blossoms as Jeremy Corbyn meets EU’s chief Brexit negotiator in BrusselsLabour leader gives Michel Barnier an Arsenal shirt and receives a French nationalised railway poster in return“.
However, the position of HM Opposition was made perfectly clear – see this in The Independent: “Labour vows to wreck Brexit process by voting against ‘Repeal Bill’ unless Theresa May makes major changes – ‘The Government’s Repeal Bill falls short on all counts. It is simply not fit for purpose’”
Paul Goodman has written on the Conservative Home website: “Tory MPs, the Repeal Bill, high motives for backing it, and a lower one too: self-preservation“. What is interesting about this post are the comments from Conservatives who are opposed to Brexit altogether or who argue for a “soft Brexit”. Is the mood of the Conservative Party changing?
Writing in The Times but behind the paywall, Ian Martin says this: “Tories must find a new PM before October – Negotiating Brexit terms with a nascent superstate will require leadership that Theresa May is not equipped to provide (£)”
It will be interesting to see how the Conservative Party might achieve that before the Conservative Party Conference which is due to start on 1st October 2017.