Staunch stuff from Mrs May today with - unusually - a clear challenge to rebel MP’s who don’t support Brexit that they shouldn't attempt to block the due process of the EU Withdrawal Bill. I agree. Any MP who maliciously interferes with a process that has been mandated by both public and parliament should be shot at dawn and his/her remains thrown over the fence. Some strong people management skill is long overdue in government but my concern is whether it can be sustained until Brexit has occurred. Track records in Westminster are not good and we have seen occasional bursts of energy in the past which have quickly reverted to the norm of chaos. And chaos is what Mrs May has to tackle. I doubt there is anyone out there who could honestly say the management of our governance has been anything but chaotic this last year and, regrettably, our PM has not so far shown herself up to the task. But it is important as the next round of Brexit negotiations commences again this coming week. The EU will no doubt be revelling in Britain’s discomfort and will equally likely push for a higher divorce settlement just for the sheer pleasure of squeezing it out of the British. As a nation we’ve been in this position before - backs to the wall, little obvious chance of survival, etc, etc - but now is the time to show mettle, to show that there is a sting in the tail of this wounded creature, to show that Brexit really does mean Brexit and that mischievous attempts by the EU to capitalise upon our situation can and will be rebuffed with rigour.
A trade deal that is workable for both Britain and the EU is sensible - and European industry knows this as much as anyone. The one critical institution that does not know this - because it is too far removed from the realities of the coal-face - is the bureaucratic mechanism of the EU itself, and regrettably they are the ones who will be sitting at the negotiating table. It may well be that we do have to walk away from any exit arrangement without a trade deal and that will be a sad day in history but that will be infinitely better than bending our knee to bureaucrats who have almost no understanding of the criticality of what they are engaged in negotiating with Britain. For them it is merely a political joust. Real people don’t enter into the debate, it’s more to do with scoring a political point or two over the substance of what is at stake. That is why Mrs May needs to bring together cross-party experience and know-how without further ado and she needs to put a lion across the table from the Barnier’s and Juncker’s of this world. I know who I’d put there. One Mr Farage. Much maligned and denigrated as he is it is his knowledge of European affairs, of the Brussels mentality, of the significance of Brexit and of the sheer importance of re-balancing the negotiating process that is now vital. This is not a Party party - that privilege was forsaken many months ago - and it is now essential that we have a fighter in our corner, a consummate negotiator with the wit, gumption, versatility and skill to pull this sorry mess around. For once let politicians put their differences aside and buckle down to this most important of tasks. Our position has to be established this month, before the EU summit in December. Beyond that, a deal of any meaningfulness and a divorce bill that is mutually acceptable will be off the table. If this is worth fighting for, let’s not be partisan any longer and put our best warriors out in front. The UK expects no less, Mrs May.