Storm clouds continue to gather for beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May. Following a torrid afternoon at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 26 October, at which her Brexit position was widely ridiculed, even her own ministers are beginning to turn. Junior Trade Minister Mark Garnier has delivered the latest blow.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV on 26 October, Garnier set alarm bells ringing by admitting that global banks will lose their current rights to provide services in the EU after Brexit. This is a fact that May has avoided discussing, despite her unexplained switch from pro-Remain Home Secretary to a PM advocating hard Brexit.
While the May government scrabbles around to limit damage to the financial sector, it has come under further fire from Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. He accused the government of trying to engineer a “bankers’ Brexit”. McDonnell states that its plans will ignore the needs of manufacturers and small businesses while turning Britain into “a Singapore of the North Atlantic”.
During his interview, Garnier strayed further from the party line, making it clear that the cost of food will rise after Brexit. In contrast to the vague slogans repeated by the Prime Minister, Garnier stated that increasing food costs were:
a well predicted effect
there is nothing we can do about it
Brexit means Brexit?
Having outlined the enormous problems that May’s hard-Brexit insistence will bring to banking and the general cost of living, Garnier fired another shot across her bows. With reference to the PM’s Brexit catchphrase, he said:
I’m not going to use the expression Brexit means Brexit for obvious reasons – because it does not necessarily give that much clarity.
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