Monday, 13 May 2019

Theresa May will go before she badly damages the Anglo-American alliance

American historian Arthur Herman in an article published this afternoon in Forbes Magazine, headlined Why Theresa May Must Go, makes a good point.
'If the U.S. decides it can’t share data and networks with British telecom carriers, then China will have driven the first important wedge between the US and the UK since the Suez crisis more than sixty years ago.'
I often dislike the way the UK slavishly follows the USA, but on Huawei the Americans are right. And even if they were not right, it would be very foolish for the British to lose the advantages of sharing intelligence with them. Not to forget the advantages of being close to Donald Trump at this delicate moment when we need all the powerful friends we can find, to help us resist the machinations of France, Germany and Brussels. 

Instead, Mrs May's evident distaste for his views on immigration are an abiding memory from his wonderfully comic visit to England. Like a schoolmistress who cannot keep order, she clearly thought that his behaviour was very bad but the least said about it the better.

Luckily the sand in the egg timer is finally running out for our wretched Prime Minister. 

Everything now turns on who succeeds her. 

Robert Shrimsley in The Financial Times:
"Having promised to go once a withdrawal agreement is in place, Mrs May faces her own no-deal exit. Hence the profusion of rivals in pastel shirts posing with kitchen appliances in the interviews suddenly littering UK newspapers. We may not know how the umpteen Conservatives who consider themselves worthy of the leadership would really resolve the Brexit crisis, but we know their choice of oven."
Parliament has nothing to do but wait. 

Last week the one important vote the House of Commons took was on the Second Reading of  the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill. Meanwhile this session of Parliament is the longest in English history since the Long Parliament, which Cromwell dissolved in 1653 with the words
'You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say;
and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!'
Robert Shrimsley quotes a wise, anonymous Tory MP saying
'Whatever comes next is coming. We may as well get on with it.'
The next Prime Minister has to be someone who campaigned for Brexit. It should best be one who can get close to the Trump White House and sympathetic countries like Italy, for domestic political reasons as much as diplomatic ones. 

The friendship of France or Germany is more dangerous than the enmity of Russia or China.

But I doubt this is what the new Prime Minister will do. Only Boris might have the wit to do so, though while a very unimpressive Foreign Secretary his foreign policy resembled much more Hillary's than the Donald's. He has insulted both of course in his time. 

He and a hard or no deal Brexit is probably the least bad chance my country has now. 

It has come to that.


  1. Polls that probe hypothetical scenarios are of limited use. And so it is that questions about how people might feel about the Conservatives under a different leader are imperfect. But they would at least reveal whether the public had a strong preference for a new leader; at this point, however, they don’t. A ComRes poll and a DeltaPoll poll both recently suggested there wouldn’t be much uplift if Theresa May was replaced.

    Tory MPs should be thankful their main opponent is a clown.

    James Frayne, Director of Public First and author of Meet the People, a guide to moving public opinion