By Robert Jonathan
Perhaps channeling John Kerry in a completely different context, British Prime Minister Theresa May was against Brexit before she was for it, which perhaps is all you need to know about the status of the negotiations with the European Union over the withdrawal agreement.
In a June 23, 2016, Brexit referendum, the U.K. voted to leave the EU and reclaim its sovereignty, The U.K. is formally scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019.
As Home Secretary (roughly equivalent to the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary), May supported the Remain — i.e., anti-Brexit — side, but upon taking office from predecessor PM David Cameron, declared that Brexit means Brexit.
That she dragged her feet on invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to get the Brexit ball rolling, however, probably was a precursor to what has turned out, by many assessments, to be a virtual capitulation to the EU in the divorce settlement.
May has been criticized for giving away the store, the farm, and the fisheries in the negotiations over exiting the EU and in so doing, betraying the will of the British electorate. “Throughout, her overriding priority appears to have been: give the European Union whatever it asks for; then, when it grumbles that it’s not enough, give it some more,” Breitbart London asserted.
Brexit in Name Only
Although many of the nuances of the complicated agreement which, to the surprise of no one won the approval of EU leaders, may be lost on those of us on this side of the Atlantic, May’s approach appears to be Brexit in Name Only.
May’s Conservative Party itself may be Conservative in Name Only, but that’s another matter.
Critics have argued that with all the one-way compromises and concessions, it forces the U.K. into vassal-state status and serfdom to the EU instead of a “proper” Brexit.
In an interview with the British online magazine Spiked, an Oxford professor gave the Brexit deal less than a ringing endorsement, adding that May’s inner circle of paper pushers wanted to stay in the EU.
“May’s deal seems to mean the most extraordinary set of constitutional innovations. It would give, for an indefinite period, power over a large part of our economy and legislation not only to a foreign power but also to an unelected committee. The EU will have the power to decide upon and implement a whole load of laws and regulations. We will be required to accept them and we will have to pay for the pleasure. I cannot think of any historical precedent for this – certainly not in any democratic country. It is astonishing that any government could for a moment consider this acceptable.”
May apparently never got the memo that good policy is often good politics, especially for careerist politicians who want to keep their jobs above all else.
By championing the current deal, she risks driving a wedge in the Conservative Party, losing her premiership, splintering the coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland that is propping up her control of government levers in parliament, and possibly handing the reins of power to Jeremy Corbyn and the far-left Labor Party in the 2020 election, or possibly before.
By any measure, even if she is devoted to the globalist, corporatist agenda, how does this make any sense as practical matter?
Brexit Deal or No Deal?
According to Conservative MP Priti Patel, the EU outmaneuvered the May administration at every step and “instead of being bold enough to prepare to walk away from negotiations, we’ve succumbed to the EU’s bullying tactics.”
Does it sound to you like Obama’s handling of the Iran nuclear deal?
Brexit architect Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party who is a member of the European Parliament, has said, and continues to say, that no deal is better than bad deal.
According to Farage, the current proposal is the worst deal in history.
He added that a no vote would allow World Trade Organization rules to kick in, allowing the U.K. to negotiate trade arrangements with any country without the heavy-handed oversight by the Brussels-based EU bureaucracy. President Trump has already said that he would put the U.K. at the top of the list for a new free-trade accord.
Watch Nigel Farage on the BBC in which he maintains that May and her team have given in to virtually every demand from the EU.
As an aside, Farage is no fan of de facto EU boss Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor as evidenced in the clip below:
Catch up on my latest European Parliament speech from earlier in the week. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/LSPVYBowQB
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 18, 2018
Northern Ireland Expects the Same Status As the Rest of the U.K.
DUP official Sammy Wilson made these observations in Westmonster about the so-called “confidence and supply arrangement” through which his party is keeping May and the Conservatives (a.k.a. Tories) in power after she lost the parliamentary majority in the ill-advised June 2017 snap election.
“In return we expected the Prime Minister to bring back a deal from Brussels which freed the UK from the EU Customs Union, Single Market and the dictats of the [European Court of Justice]. We also expected her to ensure that the demands of the Irish Government and the EU negotiators to keep [Northern Ireland] tied to the EU would be resisted. She publicly and privately promised to honor these requirements which were part of her election manifesto but as the deal which she presented to the Cabinet and Parliament clearly shows she has broken her promises to the electorate, her own MPs and the people of [Northern Ireland].
“Instead of a deal which frees the UK from the shackles of EU membership she has volunteered to handcuff this country to the EU and then has handed the key to the EU to allow [chief negotiator] Michel Barnier and Co to decide if or when they will let us go free. In the case of [Norther Ireland] the handcuffs have been applied and the key has been thrown away.”
Nonetheless, May is stubbornly pushing Parliament to approve the deal in a vote that is scheduled for on or about December 11.
Several high-profile “Brexiteer” (Leave-supporting) members of the cabinet, including former London Mayor Boris Johnson, previously resigned from the government in protest over what they consider a deal that will keep Britain under the EU thumb.
Note that in the U.K., the “government” is equivalent to the administration in U.S. terms. Moreover, unlike here where a senator or congressman would have to step down to take a position with the administration, members of parliament routinely and simultaneously become government ministers and thus hold two jobs. Johnson and his like-minded colleagues still retain their seats in the House of Commons, the British parliament.
Brexit Deal “May” or “May” Not Get Through Parliament
Flip-flopping is always possible in politics, especially if inducements are on the table in exchange for votes (e.g., remember the “Cornhusker Compromise” and the “Louisiana Purchase” that, among other things, enabled Obamacare to pass?).
Many Conservative MPs have already announced they are voting against the deal, however, and even parliamentarians in the opposition, more globalist Labor Party, including Corbyn, have denounced the deal.
From Bloomberg Politics:
“Euroskeptics in May’s Conservative Party hate the withdrawal agreement and are vowing to oppose it because it forces the U.K. to keep close to the EU’s trade rules. Many pro-EU politicians in Britain also regard it as unacceptable because the U.K. will have no say over the rules it must observe.”
According to polls, the British public overwhelmingly wants a full Brexit rather than May’s watered-down version, but she doesn’t seem to be listening.
And making matters worse for those outside the globalist cohort, the transition period could be open ended and be equivalent to continued EU membership, as Breitbart London reported.
“The Remain-voting Prime Minister’s deal with the European Union — if ratified by the British Parliament and European Parliament — could condemn the United Kingdom to ‘perpetual purgatory’ or even no Brexit at all, as Britain’s departure would be followed by a lengthy ‘transition’ period in which it would remain subject to all the rules and regulations of an EU member-state, but without representation in the EU’s institutions.”
While all this is going on, the deal also requires the U.K. to continue to pour billions of taxpayer money into EU coffers.
The Spectator of London outlines five different scenarios that could emerge upon the upcoming Brexit vote in parliament.
May Makes Her Move
Theresa May spoke in the House of Commons on Monday to try to sell the Brexit deal to many skeptical lawmakers after which she will go on a Brexit sales-pitch tour try to convince the public at large.
The prime minister’s presentation starts at about the 14-minute mark.
Added: On his LBC radio show, Nigel Farage critiqued Theresa May’s Commons selling job.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 26, 2018