Theresa May told huge lies in her Brexit speech today and everybody knows it

Lying yet again: I’m getting tired of using this image, but it remains the most accurate depiction of Theresa May’s attitude.

Wow. What a screw-up.

When you’re prime minister of a nation like the UK, giving a major speech on a subject that has split your citizens, it is highly advisable not to tell a huge lie about it if you want to have your way.

But that is what Theresa May did today (January 14).

She tried to co-opt the story of the creation of the National Assembly for Wales in support of her claim that Brexit must be enacted, despite the narrowness of the referendum result.

There are just three problems:

First, she said, “On the rare occasions when Parliament puts a question to the British people directly, we have always understood that their response carries a profound significance.” This is a lie.

After the Welsh Assembly referendum in 1997 produced a 0.3 per cent majority – smaller than that for Brexit, the Government of Wales Bill went before the Commons in December 1999 and the Conservative Party – including Mrs May – voted against it en masse.

Mrs May is using the Assembly referendum to support her Brexit policy, even though her own actions in that case were the exact opposite.

Not only that, she said, “When the people of Wales voted by a margin of 0.3%, on a turnout of just over 50%, to endorse the creation of the Welsh Assembly, that result was accepted by Parliament.”

While this is accurate, it is because the majority of MPs in Parliament at the time were members of the Labour Party. The Conservatives campaigned for a second referendum and included a promise to offer the people of Wales a second vote in their manifesto for the general election of 2005. They said that was the democratic thing to do, in sharp contrast with her current attitude to the EU referendum.

Finally, there’s the issue of what happened in the aftermath of the two votes. After the Welsh Assembly referendum, devolutionists worked hard to build “losers’ consent” – reaching out and addressing the concerns of their opponents.

Mrs May has done the exact opposite with Brexit. People who supported remaining in the EU were demonised as “Remoaners”, “saboteurs” and “traitors”.

These are fundamental flaws in Mrs May’s argument. She is revealed as a hypocrite and a liar. And everybody saw it.

(The quoted extract is from a version of the speech that wasn’t used – it seems Mrs May’s advisors realised that “both sides” did not accept the result of the Welsh Assembly referendum and modified it to say that “Parliament” accepted it. As already mentioned, this was because Labour had a majority.)

Evolve Politics goes into further details in an article here.

The only conclusion to be formed is that Theresa May doesn’t care about democracy and nor does her Conservative government. She wants Brexit for petty, selfish reasons that have nothing to do with the national interest or even with the wishes of Leave supporters – and her dire Brexit deal represents those narrow demands. If anything, her speech should reinforce opposition to her claims.

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6 thoughts on “Theresa May told huge lies in her Brexit speech today and everybody knows it

  1. Charles Loft

    The other VERY big lie is us leaving the EU on March 29th. There is NOT enough Parliamentary time to get three Bills essential to Brexit through Parliament by 29th March, even with week-end and late night sittings, so should she survive tomorrow (very hopefully NOT!) she would HAVE TO extend Article 50. Lying through her teeth again AS USUAL.

  2. Graham Corran

    Excellent analysis. Thanks. Except for one thing. You say, “She wants Brexit for petty, selfish reasons that have nothing to do with the national interest”

    She wants Brexit because her party is bankrolled by rich sponsors – and includes a lot of people – who want to continue to leg it offshore with their wealth to keep it away from the tax man. Its the normal selfishness of the Conservatives but it is not petty. And given the way that tax avoidance is dysfunctional for fiscal policy and has been the reason for all that austerity and it’s effects, and the doubling of the National Debt, it has a lot to do with the national interest.

    Corbyn is right. It’s not in or out of the EU that should divide us, it’s making the wealthy contribute a fair share that should unite us.

    Please big up the offshore tax angle. It’s something that could come in useful for electioneering purposes because it has a ‘ we are all in it together when we are on the receiving end of the effects of tax avoidance” element that is inclusive rather than divisive.


    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’d still say her concerns are petty and selfish. She won’t have considered the national interest or any concerns other than her own.

      You’re right about tax avoidance. I’ve mentioned it a few times but developments suggest a new angle…

Comments are closed.