Why, in that case, fight a case in the Supreme Court to keep Parliament out of the process?
It was when she said this that the pound steadied, because the Europhiles in the City knew what she meant. What a weapon this places in the hands of the EU.
For decades, British Ministers in Brussels talks have been puzzled by the way in which their secret final negotiating positions appear to be known to the Superstate’s officials. Who can guess why that is?
Now the EU’s functionaries will also know that their allies in the Lords and Commons can undermine the British team at any time.
The mere knowledge that the deal will have to get past both Houses (where the majority of Lords and Commons wish we had voted to stay in) will mean constant pressure to give way. The EU’s salami-slicing machine will be whizzing, night and day.
There’s plenty of room for such compromise in Chairman May’s speech.
She says she doesn’t want ‘membership’ of the single market. But that leaves room for keeping many, if not most, of its provisions.
As for her plan to leave the Customs Union without giving up its benefits, experts tell me this is simply impossible. One or the other, not both.
There was also a miserable section which suggested to me that she wants to keep the ghastly European Arrest Warrant. This is one of the very worst aspects of our EU membership.
It gives the courts of various squalid, half-free EU members the power to seize British subjects and carry them off.
Chairman May was very keen on this measure when she was at the Home Office, keeping us in it when she was free to leave it.
My judgment on this process is that it has only just begun. Confident speeches before battle are all very well. But resolve is not tested until the first blows are struck.
All the clues are there: It’s another Lefty hatchet job
Watch out for that EU crocodile
Readers of Christopher Booker and Richard North’s excellent book ‘The Great Deception’, many times praised here, and vital (like Hugo Young’s ‘This Blessed Plot’, written from the opposite view) for understanding of the issue, have an advantage here. They will know that the EU is like a crocodile in a swamp. You think you’ve navigated past the danger, when up it comes, snapping and splashing, from the slimy depths just behind you, and gobbles you up anyway. This happened to Margaret Thatcher, especially over the Single Market.
And Mrs Thatcher, with whom Mrs May is now being compared, learned later on that standing up firmly to the EU in public could be dangerous, too. Soon after being ambushed over the exchange rate mechanism by (predictably) Geoffrey Howe and ( still bafflingly) Nigel Lawson, Mrs Thatcher had understood at last what she was dealing with. From the 1970s until 1990, she had gone along with the falsehood that the EU was an economic project with some political costs. But when she came to deliver her defiance of the EU (‘No! No! No!’ 30th October 1990), she instantly faced a putsch against her premiership.
Geoffrey Howe resigned the following day, freeing himself to launch his deadly public attack on her. She was gone in less than a month. This fall is still absurdly blamed on the Poll Tax. It was undoubtedly the result of her open hostility to the EU project.
So let us not be too impressed by verbal ‘toughness’ of this sort: ‘No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain.’
For a start, what is a ‘bad’ deal? How ‘bad’ does it have to be to be worse than no deal? She decides, and so of course does Parliament.