May didn't buckle under the weight of EU and remainer perfidy

May didn't buckle under the weight of EU and remainer perfidy

by Miles Saltiel
article from Tuesday 26, September, 2017

My take on Theresa May's Florence speech:

  • Her content was gratifyingly tough. Although emollient in tone, she did not flinch from sotto voce repeating the offer in the Article 50 notice: cooperation on security for cooperation elsewhere.
  • She was accurate and robust on the Customs Union, the Single Market, regulatory identity on Day Zero, divergence thereafter, and dispute resolution.
  • Her remarks about Britain’s longstanding semi-detachment from the European project were long overdue from a British Premier.
  • She referred forthrightly to the Government’s position papers (click for analysis), of which some are ambitious, others merely guileful (Barnier would say “flakey”) – asking Brussels to take them all more seriously.
  • She offered money, which was always going to be part of the deal; and transition / implementation with a newly minted “double lock”, which should help squaring circles.
  • Her stance on immigration was inoffensive save to determined malcontents.
  • She asked EU Heads of Government (ie, especially Merkel) to take a lead.
  • She dismissed existing trade models and repeatedly invited “imagination” and “flexibility”, tricky for the EU. So a crash-out remains on the cards. That is why I’d like to have heard more about Plan B, which she touched on almost imperceptibly. 
  • When prompted by the BBC’s (mischievous? primed?) Laura Kuensberg, May reluctantly took the opportunity to repeat “no deal is better than…”
  • Her speech was nicely balanced to hold the Cabinet together and set the right sort of tone in Europe. On the other hand, by the end she was so exhausted that she couldn’t really do justice to the climax her speechwriters had crafted for her. 
  • The British press is all about cabinet splits and “we thought this way yesterday and think the same today”. Hurrah for honest journalism!
ThinkScotland exists thanks to readers' support - please donate in any currency and often


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter & like and share this article