by Richard Leonard
Some peoples’ nightmares are other peoples’ dreams. Most sane people would quiver at the thought of David Davies, Liam Fox and the UK’s own, slightly less scary version of Donald Trump – Boris Johnston, being anywhere near each other let alone be in the same room. But our astute/devious/cunning (cross out as applicable) Prime Minister has set a no-lose trap. If the tragic trio succeed in negotiations with the hardnosed and resentful team from the EU and return with a good deal for the UK, saintly Theresa will claim that it was because she chose such a team of talents in the first place.
If, however, they come back with a deal that Del Boy wouldn’t touch with a dodgy barge pole, which is more likely, she can dismiss them as incompetent Brexit looneys and appeal directly to the British people; there’s no point in her appealing to the slavering, backwoodsmen/women on the benches behind her. She has already announced that Parliament will not have an opportunity to examine the Government’s proposed strategy in negotiations with the EU over Brexit and it is unlikely therefore, that the final deal will be offered to them for their approval. Yes, I do know that my scenario will mean another referendum but if the electorate don’t accept the terms of the deal she can go back to Parliament and tell them that the UK will stay in the EC after all, thank you very much.
Fanciful you say but you must admit it is possible. May can then claim to have repaired the damage caused by Dodgy Dave and Dubious George and saved the day for Britain, at the same time delivering another hefty fancy shoe, in the political stomach of her predecessor. Farfetched? Maybe, but it might have considerable appeal to a PM who is desperate to put her mark on her period as a leader of Government and not just because she is following in the Iron Lady’s footsteps.
The Prime Minister has announced that negotiations will start by March next year which means that we are scheduled to leave the EC in 2019 – the year before the next general election is due. Her honeymoon period both with her Party and the electorate will be well and truly over by then, if it isn’t already, and she may feel that she needs a cushion to go into the election with. What better than to be able to boast that she gave them, the electorate, the chance to express themselves over Europe yet again, proving they can trust her to listen to their concerns.
With all other major parties committed to staying in the EC and the only one flatly against, UKIP, fast becoming a laughing stock, almost certainly the people of Britain would this time vote to reject an unpopular solution and remain in; assuming that the Labour Party gets its act together the next time and actively promotes staying in the EC.
Of course all of this is supposition and the outcome of the negotiations with the EC might go splendidly, satisfying the demands of the out camp but my point is that the stable door might be wide open but the horse hasn’t bolted yet. Stranger things have happened in politics; of such things are dreams made which of course can easily turn into a nightmare. But be prepared.