THERE was in the Royal Navy, in days gone by, a fierce punishment where a man was tied to a small boat’s mast then sailed round the fleet, receiving a flogging at every ship.
This punishment was given for attempting to escape. Over the past few weeks the EU has done just that to Theresa May.
AP:Associated Press The Prime Minister has already said she is stepping down. She needs to heed the concerns and not let this drag out, says Iain Duncan Smith
Only the difference is, we keep being flogged not because we tried to escape the EU but we failed to even TRY to escape.
After all, we could have escaped with no deal on March 29, then again on April 12 and now we will have to put up with more floggings as we delay our departure until October.
In the midst of this humiliating and embarrassing national failure, just when you think it can’t get worse, up pops the Chancellor glibly saying there will be a vote on holding another Brexit referendum and that the Government agree on a lot with Labour.
This flies in the face of the fact that, in marginal seats around the country, Conservatives are aghast the Government wants to do a deal with Labour.
We are in this mess because the EU does what it has done since Brexit began — try to humiliate the UKIain Duncan SmithFormer Tory leader
Remember, this is Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, which wants a Customs Union, alignment with the EU single market and a second referendum.
It’s BRINO — Brexit In Name Only.
Worse, Corbyn’s brand of anti-British, Venezuelan-supporting Marxism is the single biggest threat to the UK’s future prosperity.
Intriguingly, the Chancellor’s statement contradicts the Government’s previous view. After all, the Prime Minister used to say Corbyn wasn’t fit to be Prime Minister.We are in this mess because the EU does what it has done since Brexit began — try to humiliate the UK.
The negotiating strategy it adopted has been aimed at trying to make an example of the UK to stop other countries thinking of leaving.
‘AN UTTER DISASTER’
At the heart of this has been their determination to insist on a deeply damaging set of proposals for the Northern Ireland border.
It is these demands which have made it impossible to get a deal through the House of Commons. Those who believe in the importance of the union of the United Kingdom recognise the need to stand up for the rights of the people of Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK.
The EU’s arrogant refusal to continue negotiating a better way forward, using alternative border arrangements, is a deliberate attempt to interfere in the nature of the UK.
In this they are supported by French President Emmanuel Macron, whose somewhat pompous elitism is in stark contrast to his poll ratings — which have been so low you could slide them under a snake.
Instead of confronting the EU, prepared to leave by rejecting its deal, the Prime Minister has instead taken a dangerous decision.
There was a time when the Prime Minister had the sympathy of the nationIan Duncan Smith
This is to agree to the EU demand for a longer extension, up to October 31 — a further 200 days of membership.
This isn’t just a delay until October, it comes with strings attached. The EU demands that we fight next month’s Euro elections.
This will be an utter disaster.
At a cost to taxpayers of more than £100million, and around £1billion each month in EU membership fees, we would elect MEP’s who would have to leave office when we leave the EU in October.
These will be elections no one really wants and would go down in history as the most pointless and expensive electoral mistake.
‘CRYING OUT FOR STRONG LEADERSHIP’
There was a time when the Prime Minister had the sympathy of the nation. People used to give her the benefit of the doubt.
They recognised that in a Parliament stuffed with an overwhelming majority of anti-Brexit Remainers, and with a Remain-leaning Cabinet, it was difficult for her.
Most people I have spoken to hung on to the pledge the PM made to leave the EU on March 29.
They remembered her constant refrain that “no deal is better than a bad deal” and persuaded themselves such a pledge would be delivered on.
That all changed when we didn’t leave on March 29. Gone is that sense of sympathy and trust and in its place is a growing sense of betrayal. The country is crying out for strong leadership.
EPA European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker spoke at the EU summit to discuss Theresa May’s new Brexit extension
MPs embark on 11-day Easter break in the middle of Brexit chaos
Yet it is not too late. We can, even at this eleventh hour, rediscover our belief in the UK as a self-governing nation, the world’s fifth largest economy and one of the most influential.
After all, despite all the Project Fear warnings, while the Eurozone is mostly in recession the UK’s economy is growing, employment is at a record high and youth unemployment at a near-record low.
No, we don’t need to fear anything.
The Prime Minister has already said she is stepping down. She needs to heed the concerns, including those of her MPs, and not let this drag out.
What better legacy than one where she recognises the optimism of the British people when they voted to leave the EU.
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They instinctively know that our best days are ahead of us. Now is the time to refuse to be bullied by the EU any more — no more national humiliation.
If the EU won’t change their deal, she should say the UK will simply leave.
Now that’s a great legacy, Prime Minister.
EPA Theresa May delivered her Brussels summit statement on 11 April after defending the new Brexit deadline
John McDonnell hints soft Brexit deal could be on the cards in weeks