Every weekend, I look forward to The Saturday Economist dropping into my inbox ‘keeping you in the picture’ with a round-up of the week’s political and economic issues.
This week, The Saturday Economist, John Ashcroft, looks at the growing confusion over Brexit. So just how are the Brexit talks coming along?
“I’m very clear: I have no idea what Theresa May is talking about” claimed Michael Deacon in the Daily Telegraph this week.
Patrick Kidd, Political Sketch writer in The Times was equally flustered. “One thing is clear, we are confused. Does anyone have the foggiest idea how it is going?” It’s a good question.
The Prime Minster outlined her thoughts on leaving the EU without a deal.
“As I have said and others have said, it would be irresponsible for the British Government not to look across at the changes that would be necessary, regardless of the eventuality, and indeed some of the changes that would be necessary in the event of a no deal would be the same as changes that would be made in relation to us achieving a deal”.
In the Commons two weeks ago, when asked if new EU laws would apply in Britain during the transition period, the Prime Minister was equally clear:
“Given the way things operate, it is highly unlikely that anything brought forward during that period that has not already started discussions through the European Union to which we are being party of until we leave and on which we would have been able to say whether they would be a rule that we would sign up to or a rule that we would not wish to sign up to”.
Mmmm. [Verbatim quotes from Michael Deacon]. Confused? You should be.
Should we worry? Well Yes. Mrs May has emphasised we will all still be friends after the divorce in 2019. The PM wants a “strong and successful EU working alongside a confident outward looking Britain”. A truly global Britain in which Liam Fox will resurrect the 16th Century Board of Trade and Chris Grayling will have us grow more food in his “Back to the Allotment Dig for Victory” appeal. We will join NAFTA, The TPP and the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce. It’s going to be great, making Great Britain Great Again!
According to a poll by BMG research this week, 76% think the negotiations are going badly. 12% think they are going well. Slightly down on the 15% who thought may delivered a great speech at conference this month. Ah the resilience of the British people and the Tory hard right.
Theresa May was left talking to the plants this week, the real talks were underway in the “Big room” next door. The EU offered a concession. They may be prepared to move to the next phase of talks as early as December, as long as Boris Johnson doesn’t make the trip to Brussels.
Meanwhile Lloyd Blankfein head of Goldman Sachs tweeted this week “He looks forward to spending more time in Frankfurt”. May should take a leaf from Prince Charles’ greenhouse, he didn’t just talk to the plants, he would instruct them! Maybe then we might see real progress!
Expert Opinion provided by The Saturday Economist