Theresa May says ‘Let’s come together’. Aye Right!

Just listened to May’s speech and she has asked us to come together as a nation.

Well, that might have been possible if May was able to convince us that,

  • There will be no return of a hard border on the Island or Ireland. Platitudes are not a plausible solution to this issue. May’s speech today more or less admitted there will be a border, and whether that border is hard or not is reliant on the EU accepting a generous bespoke deal it has thus far shown no interest in.
  • All of the powers currently devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will remain devolved. At the moment May is threatening to take the Scottish Parliament to court for trying to ensure that this is the case. Hardly the symbol of a ‘Precious Union’ or a reason to come together.
  • Trade will remain as frictionless as it was before. Good intentions are not enough to convince me that barriers are not going to be erected as we leave the EU. Today, May admitted some barriers are likely but she hopes(fingers crossed) to minimise them.
  • The rights we had as EU citizens will remain protected. Key Brexiteers and members of the government, people like Liam Fox, are on record talking about eroding workers’ rights. What guarantees will there be that these rights can’t be eroded by a future government run by hard Brexiteers?
  • Cooperation with EU agencies on such things as research, security, energy, travel, healthcare and the environment will remain as strong as ever. We are walking away from lots of institutions that make collaboration in these areas easier and more efficient without any surety that similar relationships will continue.
  • Our economy will not suffer as has been predicted in hundreds of reports including those from our own governments. Unless every economist in the word except for Patrick Minford is crazy, then this is a major issue. Relying on the scant hope of the EU position on a bespoke deal crumbling isn’t good enough.
  • Business will be given clarity as to the shape of the future to stop a mass exodus to countries inside the Single Market. At the moment people who run business have no idea what to plan ahead for.
  • That EU and UK workers will be able to move between EU countries as hassle free as we can now. May reiterated free movement will end but it is unclear what agreement will replace it. Currently, both sides of the negotiations seem leagues apart.

The way to convince us that we are wrong to worry about these things is to come up with a plan that has a chance of working.

Again, today Theresa May failed to do this.

Instead, we got the usual fairy tale Brexit vision, dressed up with cringe-worthy platitudes, that no one with half a brain cell thinks the EU is going to agree to. If May could pull this off, she will have successfully minimised the damage of Brexit but the EU has consistently said they will not allow us to pick and mix the deal we want.

The chances of May’s plan working relies on the EU rewarding a country for leaving it thereby incentivising its own demise. I just can’t see that happening. May is probably aware of the issue here because her speech today was couched in cautious language. She was priming us for the negotiations potentially going badly.

Until there is a plan that doesn’t seem like such a wild gamble, I’m afraid the country is going to remain divided.

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