Clearing up confusion?

The Prime Minister gave another Brexit speech on March 2 so all is now clear.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 19 March, 2018, 08:00

If David Davis, our Brexit Minister, once said that we’d have the exact same benefits after leaving, he was only ‘aspiring’; the PM now says we’ll be worse off.

If Liam Fox, our Trade Minister, has clocked up 300,000 air miles, it was useful; we’ll have learnt a lot about the difficulties of negotiating the ‘easy’ trade deals, which we’ll have to make first with the EU.

He’ll also know now why we have to leave the EU and make new trade deals. He’ll explain how Germany, inside the EU, sells five times more to India than we do.

If Boris Johnson, our Foreign Minister, spent the referendum campaign promising an invasion by 70 million Turks, he’s since promised to back Turkey to join the EU, while we leave.

Possibly one of these three ministers will soon remember to mention Gibraltar’s EU relationship.

The PM also made clear that ‘Brexit still means Brexit’, that we will leave and that we’ll get our money back.

However, there are bits of the EU in which we wish to remain.

Of course, we’ll have to pay for that privilege – on top of the £40billion debt settlement for which the EU will no longer have to whistle.

Naturally, because we don’t like being told, we’ll leave the European Court of Justice – well, partly. International courts aren’t meant for us, but seem needed.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Obviously, from the above, we’re taking back control. However, most of us have dearly loved partners with whom we share control so we’d like to share control with our EU partners too, but only in those areas which suit us.

That’s now clear so it’s time we all got behind the will of the people. The two-thirds of adults who didn’t vote leave must follow the minority Tory Government’s version of how the one-third voted. That’s democracy.

To help it, the Government has at last made available its assessment of the economic impact of leaving. Of course, only parliamentarians may see it; the rest of us are not to be trusted. However, the Government will allow us to know that the North East will be hit worst.

At the end of the speech, a German journalist had the cheek to ask ‘Is it all worth it?’

The only reason that the PM didn’t say yes is that she’s modest; of course it’s worth it.

As several pundits have said since the speech, no one else could have held the Tories together, even if only for a few more days. After all, Thatcher, Major, Hague, Howard, Duncan Smith and Cameron all failed to unite them. She’s unrivalled.

Perhaps her commitment to unity of party and country will lead her to allow a free vote in parliament, and then a chance for the public to assess the terms from the negotiations so far and judge whether it is, indeed, worth it.

Peter Watts

Berwick-upon-Tweed