Tag Archives: theresa may

Why Theresa May’s speech is good news

Theresa May’s speech today was a mixture of vacuous soundbites and ominous indicators of the direction of travel.  Shorn of the window-dressing, it is clear that she leads a government of the Hard Brexit.  She concluded with a nauseous section suggesting that the country is “coming together” after June’s referendum.  As one wag put it on Twitter, that is like setting a fire, burning the house down and expecting those who queried what you were doing to “come together” in the rebuilding project.  More seriously, by opting for a Hard Brexit, exiting the single market (ironically, an achievement of Margaret Thatcher) and almost certainly the customs union, she is demonstrating no respect for the 16 million people who voted Remain.

So, why do I think the speech is good news? The clue is today’s YouGov poll. This shows that the population currently splits as follows:

39%  – Hard Brexit

25% – Soft Brexit

23% – Remain in the EU after all

13% – Not sure

Pursuing a Soft Brexit would have been risky for May but not as risky as Hard Brexit.  For the first time, she has clearly put herself in backing a position supported only by a minority of voters.  This allows the divided Remain side to unite around opposition to the UK coming out of the single market (with much historic material from Dan Hannan and Boris Johnson to support them!).  It also allows them to peel off those Leavers who wanted to maintain single market access.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 69 Comments

LibLink: Tim Farron: Whether you are Leave or Remain, Theresa May just betrayed you on Brexit

Tim Farron wrote a long response to Theresa May’s speech yesterday for the Guardian. Here are some of the highlights;

The new Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, himself commented that May’s words could have come straight from a Ukip party conference speech. Farage and Nuttall might like to convince themselves that the referendum was an endorsement of their nationalist, populist politics, but that is an injustice to most of the British people who voted leave. Pursuing Ukip’s warped vision will not only have severe consequences on our economy, it will also severely damage our standing in the world.

A reckless exit from the

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 15 Comments

Farron: May is leading the UK towards a hard Brexit that was never on the ballot paper

Reacting to Theresa May’s Brexit speech, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

Theresa May is leading the UK towards a hard Brexit that was never on the ballot paper. This is a theft of democracy, a presumption that the 51.9% of people who voted to leave meant the most extreme version of Brexit available.

The BBC reports further remarks from Tim:

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron says Mrs May has adopted “Nigel Farage’s Brexit plan” which is bad news for the UK, accusing the prime minister of “waving the white flag across the white cliffs of Dover” regarding single market exit.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 54 Comments

Now, Theresa, you weren’t really the driving force behind mental health crisis care improvements, now, were you?

So, Theresa May gave an interview to Sky’s Sophy Ridge today in which she gave the biggest signal yet that leaving the single market is very much on the agenda.

In time honoured tradition, there’s a nice petition you can sign if you agree with Tim Farron that “reckless plans to leave the Single Market would make us all poorer.”

But it’s something else she said in her interview that grabbed my attention. She had moved from saying not much actually on Brexit to a very small amount on the NHS to talking about her speech tomorrow. Apparently mental health is a priority of hers. Who knew? The Prime Minister said:

If I can give you an example of something I have already done, when I was in the Home Office one of the issues that concerned me was people in mental health crisis being taken to a police cell as a place of last resort.  It wasn’t good for them, it wasn’t good for the police.  Actually we’ve changed that and we’ve seen the number for whom that happens coming down by 80% and that was a small sum of money that the NHS has been able to put in in order to ensure that there are more, for example more and different places of safety for people …

“I have already done.” Really?

Well, let’s look at an unbiased source, shall we? The Government website which announced this initiative back in 2014 didn’t mention Theresa May anywhere. The main names were Liberal Democrat ministers Nick Clegg and Norman Lamb. Yes, there was Home Office involvement, but it was Lamb who had done all the work bringing it together across government. He was the driving force behind all the mental health measures introduced by the Coalition Government.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

Electoral reform, Donald Trump … and Theresa May

 

For years, it was said that there was a threat to western democracies from far-right parties with extremist or populist opinions. The BNP were, in the 2000s, supposed to be ‘our’ version of this phenomenon, before they collapsed and – arguably – their vote went elsewhere.

But, still, the possibility of a small extremist nationalist party gaining undue influence was held to be a convincing argument against electoral reform. I think it may now be possible to say with great certainty that this was either a fallacy or a lie.

Why? Because there are two countries where, this year, populist/nationalist agendas have upset the existing political order: Firstly, the USA (in the person of Mr Trump); and secondly, this country (in the shape of Brexit). That is to say, two countries with plurality voting, who have historically rejected voting reform and proportionality as alien to their political culture.

And why might this have come to pass?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments

Theresa May went to India, and all I got was a lousy T-shirt…

I am one of those people who have often wondered why British governments pay relatively little attention to India. After all, it’s a big country, with an emerging middle class who want to travel, buy luxury goods and send their children to good universities overseas. Why wouldn’t we want to build stronger links with a Commonwealth country that is likely to be one of the world’s largest economies before too long? And yet, the attention of our politicians and diplomats often seems biased towards China.

Frankly though, after Theresa May’s trip to New Delhi and Bengaluru, I almost wish that she …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

Nissan announcement – did May promise any cash for Qashqais?

At the end of the day, we’re all Brits together. I rejoice that Nissan have announced the production of the new Qashqai and X-Trails at Sunderland.

Tim Farron has commented:

The commitment to Sunderland by Nissan is obviously very welcome. Ensuring that jobs are protected at the plant is vital for Sunderland and our economy.

However, it is utterly ridiculous that Theresa May is having to give special assurances to key manufacturers in order to deal with the Brexit fallout her government is creating.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 31 Comments
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