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Analysis

Last week has been absolutely bloody marvellous

by Hugo Dixon | 15.07.2018

Brexiters are savaging the prime minister; they are even attacking each other. And then Donald Trump has made a beautiful intervention. Pro-Europeans couldn’t wish for more.

The attacks on Theresa May’s castration Brexit are coming thick and fast. David Davis has accused her of being “dishonest” in The Sunday Times. The former Brexit secretary is said to be planning to give a resignation speech in the House of Commons tomorrow.

Boris Johnson is resuming his Telegraph column tomorrow. The former foreign secretary is said to be considering a resignation speech in the Commons on Wednesday, followed by a rally in Sunderland and a big set-piece speech in September. He’s unlikely to pull his punches.

Steve Baker, the former junior Brexit minister, has told The Sunday Telegraph that we are going to be in the “pathetic” position of being supplicants to the EU.

Iain Duncan Smith says we will “hand back control” not take back control. The former Tory leader is also reported to have told the prime minister that she’s a terrible poker player – a remark that brought her close to tears.

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Lord Spicer, former head of the Tories’ backbench 1922 committee, is saying it may be time to split the party in two – between those who genuinely back Brexit and those who don’t.

But even hardline Brexiters are at each other’s throats. Those outside government think the ones who are still putting lipstick on May’s pig of a Brexit such as Michael Gove and Dominic Raab are selling out. One MP, Laurence Robertson, described those toeing the party line as “sycophants and careerists”.

Meanwhile, Johnson and Davis hate each other’s guts. Most recently, they fell out over a planned “stunt” to resign at the same time to have greater impact, according to the Mail on Sunday.

On top of this comes Trump’s statement that May’s Brexit will probably “kill” a US/UK trade deal while saying Johnson would be a good prime minister. He has now partially corrected himself. But nobody believes him.

Not surprisingly, the public is not amused, according to the latest opinion poll for the Observer. The Tories have fallen behind Labour, largely because some of its supporters have switched to UKIP, while May’s net approval rating has tumbled to below Jeremy Corbyn’s.

What’s more, half the population now think Brexit is one of the most important issues facing the country; the prime minister has the lowest rating ever on her handling of Brexit; and half of voters want a referendum on the final deal, while only a third don’t.

And what’s May’s response to all this? She tells the hardliners in her party that, if they don’t back her proposals, they’ll end up with “no Brexit”. Now, that would be marvellous, wouldn’t it?

8 Responses to “Last week has been absolutely bloody marvellous”

  • Politics in this country is now becoming as divisive as in the United States and you think it is marvellous.

    You have no idea. Just because you choose to compare Brexiteers with Trump that doesn’t prevent a Trump like figure emerging in the UK.

    The remainers have broken the social contract now anything can happen.

  • The real problem is that there is no such thing as the sovereign will of the British people because the claims (speculative offers) around the referendum were false like saving lots of money when in reality we are already poorer because of devaluation and increased inflation. If Brexit goes ahead we will be poorer still .

    But who would choose to be one of 28 leaving the EU Common sense says wait until 4 or 5 or 6 countries leave together or don’t leave at all . Imagine what Trump would say if Texas or California decided to leave the USA.

  • And another glib meme hits the collection of pseudo-intellectual brexiteer growing list of insults. After ‘vassals’ and ‘colonies’ and obscure references to Bad King John in 1300, they’re being coined by such fools as Jacob and Nigel and Boris in an increasingly hysterical manner as their dreams of a Pure Ideological Brexit is daily retreating.
    In my lifetime I seem to have laboured under a succession of Tory local MPs and increasingly nasty Tory Governments without complaining, so my ‘social capital’ is still there, but I feel a delicious schadenfreude at the mounting problems of this gang of feral beasts.

  • “Remainers” certainly haven’t broken any social contract, and there’s a diffence between supporters and ministers, Remainers aren’t in power, Brexiteers have most certainly been in the driving seat. If David Davis, Liam Fox, and Boris Johnson had come up with a viable set of solutions in time, they’ve had two years, then Brexit would be on track.

    It’s no use blaming Theresa May over the Northern Ireland situation, that should have been seen well before the referendum and a plan to deal with it put in place. There’s a massive social contract there, a whole set of agreements that can’t be broken, a real social contract to support peace.

    The referendum was one device, in a whole series of votes, contracts, commitments and mandates, seeing it as an overriding “social contract” that trumps all other responsibility, every other “social contract”, every other policy, and mandate is unbalanced, extreme.

  • Once again it would seem that most politicians are putting party politics (and egos) above the needs of the country. Ain’t that treason?
    I was going to say putting party loyalties first (haa) – but loyalty seems in short supply in Westminster.

    In all the talk of increasing trade with the rest of the world, the increased costs and impact on the environment due in mainly to transport requirements seem to be conveniently overlooked.
    Will the US upgrade its food standards for the UK? No. The US home market far outweighs the gains from a potential UK market so why bother. Take it or leave it!
    Will the the UK accept GM food from the US? You bet…
    Wonder if President Macron would like a part time job in London 😊.

  • Just picking up on two points:

    1. Clarity on the use of the term “Social Contract”: In philosophy (both moral & political), the social contract is a theory. In simple terms, the social contract relates to the relationship between society and the level of control, which an authority assumes over the individual. In other words, the theory relates to how individuals in a society have consented to give up a portion of their freedoms, in exchange for allowing the authority (the king, the parliament, etc.) to protect those individuals, to protect any rights not surrendered to that authority, and to make decisions on their behalf.

    2. The absolutely marvellous week: I think for most rational people, this is a fair statement. They can see that this is the beginning of the end of the agony, which they have had to suffer with Brexit. The Tory Party has now exposed its irreconcilable differences in the competing factions, bringing out the worst in internal party relations which we have ever witnessed. The obvious solution will be to split into two parties. The kicked can has stopped and it looks like a complete wreck. It is a dead certainty that the EU will tear the Brexit white paper apart because it has limited competent, intelligent, intelligible or sensible proposals, and turns a completely blind eye to the key issues. This will stop the negotiations completely dead in their tracks. Immediately afterwards, this should bring the majority of MP’s to the fore, allowing them to take control and kill off Brexit, once and for all.