Sunday 16 April 2017

"Taking back control" by ... err ...uh oh!

"Let's take back control" was one of the big Brexiter slogans during the toxic and ridiculously rushed EU referendum campaign. We heard it over and over again during the EU referendum debate, but we never got any explanation of what this appealing little sound bite was actually going to mean in practice.

Now that Theresa May's pitiful threat-based "negotiating strategy" has backfired and totally unified the 27 remaining EU states in their resolve to ignore her threats and deny her ridiculous demands that they start negotiating a EU-UK trade deal before she has even guaranteed the rights of EU citizens who live in the UK.

Theresa May's threat to turn the UK into a giant tax haven if the EU don't give her what she wants may have gone down well with the billionaires who own right-wing propaganda tabloids like the Express, Daily Mail and S*n, but it clearly went down incredibly badly with the people she's actually going to have to negotiate with.

The EU are hardly renowned for political unity but Theresa May's threat to deliberately damage the EU by turning Britain into a parasitical low-regulation corporate tax-haven has backfired spectacularly with all 27 member states unanimously agreeing to the proposed EU negotiating stance.

The shadow Brexit minister Keir Starmer absolutely slammed Theresa May for pandering to the fanatical hard-right fringe of the Tory party instead of trying to secure Britain's best interests saying that she "should have spent the last nine months building alliances across Europe, not pandering to those in her cabinet and her party who want to sever all links with the EU and retreat from our closest allies and most important trading partners".

It was always clear that Brexit was going to leave the UK in a very weak diplomatic position, but Theresa May's toddler tantrum of a "negotiating strategy" and her efforts to use the lives of EU citizens in the UK as bargaining chips have made the situation very much worse than they needed to be.

Britain is isolated and belligerently hurling threats around instead of trying to negotiate in a diplomatically competent manner, and the 27 EU states are unified in agreement that the separation deal comes first, that the rights of EU citizens are vital, and that when the EU-UK trade deal happens, it will happen democratically, with every other EU state getting a democratic vote to ratify it. The only state that won't be guaranteed a democratic vote on the final deal will be the UK. Some "taking back control" that is!

Theresa May's refusal to allow any kind of meaningful democratic vote on Brexit isn't the only display of anti-democratic attitudes, there's also the fact that her government are pushing through an appalling anti-democratic power-grab called the Great Repeal Bill that would allow Tory ministers to rewrite the laws of the land with no democratic scrutiny from the Houses of Parliament.

It's becoming increasingly clear that the disgustingly dishonest Vote Leave mob had no intention of giving any measure of control to the British people. What they actually meant when they said "let's take back control", was "you should hand control over your future destiny to the fanatical hard-right fringe of the Tory party".

If Theresa May decides to continue pandering to this fanatical hard-right element of the Tory party then a "no deal" cliff edge Brexit looks inevitable, meaning control will lie with the most extreme elements of the Tory party who want to turn the UK into a low-wage, low-skill, low-welfare, low-regulation, corporate tax haven economy.

And if she somehow develops some competent leadership skills and decides to ignore these incessant demands for an economically ruinous "no deal" extreme Brexit from within her own party, control will clearly lie with the remaining 27 EU states that will all have a democratic veto over any future EU-UK trade deal.

In light of this appalling lose-lose situation for British citizens and British businesses, I wonder how anyone honestly believes that they actually "took back control" when they voted in favour of a Tory administered Brexit.

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