MPs couldn’t help but laugh at Theresa May as she reported to parliament about a meeting of the European Council. In particular, they couldn’t hold back their mirth when May informed them she had given Europe advice on the single market.
The laughter began after May stated:
At this council I called for further steps to complete the single market and the digital single market.
And the derision continued
But it didn’t stop there. After pausing in the hope that things would settle down, May continued:
I also welcomed the completion of the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada. And pressed for an agreement with Japan in the coming months.
More derision followed. And looking awkward, May tried to act like a comedian about to deliver a punchline:
Well, yes, just wait for it.
But it can hardly be described as a knock-out blow:
These agreements will lay the foundation for our continued trade agreements with these other countries as we leave the EU.
But it’s a serious issue
While MPs were probably right to deride May’s comments, these are serious issues. May’s government has now been given the go-ahead to proceed without amendment to its tiny Brexit bill. This means May is free to trigger Article 50 later this month. The amendments proposed by the House of Lords would have safeguarded the rights of EU nationals already living in the UK and would have given parliament a “meaningful vote” on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
So now, May is free to pursue the “hard Brexit” she promised. Although what this might entail is still unclear, as she has mostly just uttered soundbites like “Brexit means Brexit”. But from the little she has said, it is likely to involve sacrificing the free market in order to pursue an anti-immigration and anti-human rights agenda. May previously stated:
But let me be clear. We are not leaving the European Union only to give up control of immigration again. And we are not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
But all things considered, May claiming that she is giving advice to the EU Council and free trade agreements is laughable. And given the state of the world in post-Brexit Britain, we all need something to laugh about.
– Read other articles from The Canary about Brexit.
Featured image via screengrab