Mudcat Café message #3974094 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165570   Message #3974094
Posted By: Nigel Parsons
30-Jan-19 - 05:54 AM
Thread Name: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Subject: RE: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 19 - 07:03 PM

From Rafael Behr in today's Guardian:

"This new Malthouse doctrine is really the old hardline Brexit delusions in shinier shoes. It is the bluff that Britain holds all the cards, and that if we show enough contempt for treaties and economic logic, Brussels will be intimidated into granting favours that could not be won by conventional diplomacy.

There are two possible reasons for pursuing that strategy. One is stupidity: failure to grasp what the negotiations so far have actually been about and how May's deal was their logical outcome. The second is cynical vandalism: knowing that the plan will fail and hoping, when it does, to pin blame for a chaotic no-deal Brexit on Brussels intransigence. In truth it would be the fruition of Eurosceptic zealotry.

It is sad to see self-styled Tory "moderates" taken in by such a con and alarming to hear May indulge it in the Commons as a "serious proposal". Her next move is to Brussels, in a quest for something that two years of negotiation have already failed to uncover. But it seems the way to unite Tories these days is to expunge the period 2017 to 2018 from memory. May still acts as if Brexit is something that must be settled to the satisfaction of the Conservative party first, and only then shared with the rest of Europe. The British public is at the very back of the queue."

Couldn't have put it better meself. Just watch the machinations and the twisting and the lying to come in the next couple of weeks. The last sentence is instructive: the interests of the people really don't seem to matter any more.

You're right. You couldn't have put it better yourself. That doesn't mean that it is accurate.
May does NOT "act as if it must be settled to the satisfaction of the Conservative party first". She excluded the majority of the conservative party from any discussions, and would not be led by her "Brexit ministers". She presented the cabinet with a fait accompli at Chequers, in such a manner that made it very difficult for them to object (at that time). They were incommunicado, their mobiles handed in, and had no transport home if they left the cabinet at that stage.
The 'agreement' she offered them at that time had already been shown to (some) EU leaders, so the view of the Conservative MPs (be it Cabinet, MPs at Westminster, or the party as a whole) did not get a chance to show 'satisfaction' (or otherwise) with the agreement ahead of it being made public to the rest of the country.