Analysis

Theresa May displays “top table” envy

by Hugo Dixon | 12.07.2018

In the same breath as spelling out proposals to quit the EU, the prime minister is pleading to have summits with EU leaders. She also wants ministers to have regular meetings with their EU counterparts.

Theresa May is suffering “top table” envy – the concern that, if we quit the EU, we won’t be at the heart of our continent’s decisions. Other countries will do stuff that affects us and we’ll be like kids with our ears to the keyhole trying to hear what the adults are saying inside. She is right to be worried.

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The prime minister is also proposing a “joint committee” where officials from the UK and the other EU countries get together on a regular basis to steer the development of our relationship. She wants a series of sub-committees too.

This joint committee would be the first port of call if there is a dispute over whether we are following EU rules we have agreed to obey. If the committee can’t sort it out, the European Court of Justice could be consulted for its interpretation of the rules.

As if this is not enough, May also wants a “formal dialogue” between the our Parliament and the European Parliament. And she wants all this to be wrapped up in an “association agreement” – a bit like the one that the EU has with Ukraine, which is keen to get ever closer to Europe.

If she wasn’t pulling us out of the EU, you might she was trying to become a member.

Tags: Categories: Brexit, EU Politics