She’s the weakest prime minister the UK has ever had – and this weekend she wrote a letter to us all, practically admitting it.
Who could possibly have advised Theresa May that a two-page pack of lies would make anyone more sympathetic to her botched Brexit plan? We all know it will make all of us much worse-off than we are now, and may even result in some of us (Gibraltar) losing UK citizenship after she bargained away sovereignty in a desperate bid to stop Spain from obstructing support for her deal in the EU.
All you have to do is glance at it to see that Mrs May has filled it with lies. Here are some of the worst howlers:
“Today, I am in Brussels with the firm intention of agreeing a Brexit deal with the leaders of the other 27 EU nations. It will be a deal that is in our national interest – one that works for our whole country and all of our people, whether you voted ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’.”
Nonsense. It doesn’t work for Northern Ireland or Scotland because their political representatives have made that clear. And it doesn’t work for Gibraltar because Mrs May has – undemocratically – handed over part of the UK’s sovereignty over that territory to Spain.
“It will honour the result of the referendum.”
No, it won’t. Those who voted to leave the EU did so for a multitude of reasons. It was impossible to honour the result because Mrs May and the Conservatives never made clear what it would mean, before the referendum took place in 2016.
“We will take back control of our borders, by putting an end to the free movement of people once and for all.”
That’s right. UK citizens will no longer have the right of free movement to EU countries and those of us who actually live in EU countries will not have the right of free movement back to the UK.
“Instead of an immigration system based on where a person comes from, we will build one based on the skills and talents a person has to offer.”
That should not be hard as we already have such a system. All that talk about EU citizens coming here to live on benefits was a lot of lies.
“We will take back control of our money, by putting an end to vast annual payments to the EU.”
Check out the graph immediately below, which shows the miniscule size of our “vast annual payments” to the EU, in comparison with the UK government’s annual budget:
“Instead, we will be able to spend British taxpayers’ money on our own priorities, like the extra £394 million per week that we are investing in our long-term plan for the NHS.”
That is a tiny increase in comparison to investment in the NHS by the last (New) Labour government – and also much smaller than the average increase in investment since 1955. See this Channel 4 FactCheck article for the details.
“And we will take back control of our laws, by ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK.”
Not true. EU laws and the ECJ will continue to influence the UK as Mrs May has promised to maintain “common rulebooks” after Brexit – applying EU law and jurisdiction.
“In future, our laws will be made, interpreted and enforced by our own courts and legislatures.”
… As long as they don’t affect existing laws that cover our dealings with EU countries.
“We will be out of EU programmes that do not work in our interests: out of the common agricultural policy, that has failed our farmers, and out of the common fisheries policy, that has failed our coastal communities. Instead, we will be able to design a system of agricultural support that works for us and we will be an independent coastal state once again, with full control over our waters.”
This will send farmers reeling as subsidies that were based on the amount of land they own will disappear, to be replaced with a new scheme in which farm payments would be based, among other measures, on improving air or water quality, habitats for wildlife, preventing climate change or protecting historic features.
“As prime minister of the United Kingdom, I have from day one been determined to deliver a Brexit deal that works for every part of our country – for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, for our Overseas Territories like Gibraltar, and also for the Crown dependencies. This deal will do that.”
She must be really keen for us to believe this lie, as this is the second time she has mentioned it.
“Crucially, it will protect the integrity of our United Kingdom and ensure that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland – so people can live their lives as they do now.”
The details of this part of the deal have not yet been agreed; she has kicked the can down the road and is asking you to believe that she has solved an insoluble problem.
“It is a deal for a brighter future, which enables us to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Everybody in the UK will be worse-off.
“Outside the EU, we will be able to sign new trade deals with other countries and open up new markets in the fastest-growing economies around the world.”
That depends on whether those other countries want to sign trade deals with the UK, a country that will be considerably less attractive outside the EU than within it. No deals can be signed until after the UK leaves, and this is the reason Mrs May wants a transition period – but this also creates problems.
“With Brexit settled,”
It won’t be settled. As significant issues have not been resolved, Brexit will rumble on and on – and the UK may not be completely out of the EU, even by the time of our next scheduled general election, which will be in 2022.
“… we will be able to focus our energies on the many other important issues facing us here at home: keeping our economy strong, and making sure every community shares in prosperity;”
Brexit has weakened the economy.
“… securing our NHS for the future,”
By stockpiling medicines because we don’t know whether the UK will be able to secure a regular supply, post-Brexit? By putting talented EU-based medical professionals off coming to the UK for work?
“giving every child a great start in life, and building the homes that families need;”
Homelessness is increasing rapidly under the Conservatives.
“tackling the burning injustices that hold too many people back,”
Under Mrs May, those burning justices are now a raging inferno.
“and building a country for the future that truly works for everyone.”
“We need to get on with Brexit now by getting behind this deal.”
No. We need a deal that we can get behind – and Theresa May hasn’t negotiated one.
And the citizens of the UK aren’t stupid. We knew exactly what Mrs May meant:
If you don't want to read this letter here is a summary of it:
I want to stay as PM I want to stay as PM I want to stay as PM I want to stay as PM I want to stay as PM I want to stay as PM I want to stay as PM I want to stay as PM I want to stay as PM I want to stay as PM
— Gracie Samuels #GTTO 🌹 (@GracieSamuels) November 25, 2018
It seems unlikely that Mrs May will win enough support for her silly deal – and let’s face it, we would be silly to sign it – in Parliament, and a loss will be treated as a vote of “no confidence” in her leadership and her government.
And perhaps that is a good thing.
A new leader, and a new government formed by a different party, may produce the deal we all need.
And Labour has one ready and waiting.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: