Doesn’t it seem strange to you that Theresa May turned down a chance to join with the leaders of France, Germany and Italy in publicly condemning Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and we’re getting reports that she expressed her regret privately instead?
How do we know she did anything of the sort?
Is there a recording of Mrs May’s telephone call (apparently, like Nixon, Trump does keep recordings) – and if so, does it cover the entire call?
According to third-party reports, Mrs May “expressed her disappointment with the decision and stressed that the UK remained committed to the Paris Agreement, as she set out recently at the G7”.
That’s much weaker than the joint statement from French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
They said “they remained committed to the ‘irreversible’ accord and regarded it as ‘a cornerstone in the co-operation between our countries, for effectively and timely tackling climate change’.”
Mrs May’s wishy-washy – one might say weak and wobbly – response has been roundly criticised by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose own environmental credentials are impeccable.
He said [boldings mine]: “Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change deal is reckless and dangerous.
“The commitments made in Paris are vital to stop the world reaching the point of no return on climate change, and there can be no question of watering them down.
“The Paris deal should not be up for renegotiation. The other three European members of the G7, France, Germany and Italy, have written to Donald Trump to make this clear.
“So why does Theresa May not have her name on this joint statement?
“Given the chance to present a united front with our international partners, she has instead opted for silence and subservience to Donald Trump. It is a dereliction of her duty both to our country and to our planet.
“That is not the type of leadership Britain needs to negotiate Brexit.”
That is quite correct.
Emily Thornberry should definitely be our Foreign Secretary next Friday after her own comment on the situation:
She wrote yesterday [boldings, again, mine]: “You’ll have to excuse my anger this evening, but we’ve just had confirmation that Donald Trump has withdrawn the United States from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the global deal which sought to stop the planet reaching the point of no return on greenhouse gases.
The other 194 countries who have signed the Paris Agreement will rightly do their best to save it, but that is a lot easier said than done when the world’s second biggest polluter is refusing to keep their side of the deal.
That this abysmal President should commit such an act of global, generational vandalism – sacrificing the future of our planet, and inflicting damage that our grandchildren will be unable to undo – is sadly predictable, but no less sickening for that. The opprobrium of the world shold rightly ring in his ears.
But he is not the only one. Also guilty are his so-called allies in our own Tory government, who have failed to raise even the quietest peep in protest.
This, despite claiming three times in their manifesto last month that they were leading global action on climate change. This, despite David Cameron’s words when urging fellow world leaders into action in 2015: “Let’s just imagine what we would have to say to our grandchildren if we failed.”
And the Tories cannot claim they did not see it coming.
In November, two weeks after Donald Trump’s election, I stood in the House of Commons and urged Boris Johnson to make climate change the government’s first priority in talks with the President-elect.
I said Theresa May must “have the moral backbone to tell him that he is wrong on climate change and must not scrap the Paris treaty”.
In reply, Johnson told me that “it is vital that we are as positive as we can possibly be about the new administration”, and that my concerns over climate change were “premature”.
Ms Thornberry is one of the team that a Labour government would put forward to negotiate Brexit with the EU after the general election, along with Sir Keir Starmer, who is well-respected for his legal expertise, and Barry Gardiner, Labour’s now-not-so-secret weapon on TV political discussion shows.
They are a far, far better choice for the country than Theresa May’s team of Liam Fox, David Davis and Boris Johnson – who, as mentioned in Ms Thornberry’s comments, talk a good fight but go supine when faced with a bigger bully than them.
Mrs May herself is so weak and wobbly that, if the other EU leaders blew her a kiss, she would probably fall over.
Vote Labour on June 8 – for the sake of strong international partnerships.
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