Theresa May’s 22 September speech in Florence has failed to soothe the troubled Brexit waters. Straddling awkward middle ground between the two warring factions of her own party, May tried to keep everyone happy. But in doing so, it seems she has pleased no-one.
While the government seeks a ‘deep and comprehensive free trade agreement’ with the EU, even such a best case scenario would not award the same access to the EU single market that the UK currently enjoys.
With warning signs being given from the financial sphere, several EU and Labour figures have been quick to point out the weakness of May’s position. First off, Shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer, had this to say:
PM didn't need to go to Florence to accept that Labour is right about Brexit transitional arrangements. Not much else in the speech.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) September 22, 2017
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
Meanwhile, Chief Brexit Negotiator for the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, praised May for admitting that a minimum two-year transitional period will be needed. This, of course, represents a climbdown from her previous position. But he poured scorn on her suggestion of an EU migrant registration scheme, saying it was “out of the question”.
Attacked from both sides
In issuing nothing but vague statements [paywall] for months, then delivering this lame duck speech, May has managed to anger both Leavers and Remainers on Twitter.
Many were quick to recognise the shambles Brexit has become:
May pauses Brexit, fuelled by Boris optimism. £40bln divorce bill cited. Farage furious. Seen the future & it works? This one will run & run pic.twitter.com/tuzZZRjpno
— Mark Beech (@Mark_Beech) September 23, 2017
Post brexit Britain. Our currency is now home made jam. Blue passports are fired out of Big Ben. The country is in ruins. Europe laughs.
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) September 23, 2017
Nigel Farage was not best pleased:
Theresa May's Brexit vision is that we Leave the EU in name only. All areas of integration we have currently will be rebadged.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) September 22, 2017
But neither was this Remainer:
— Nick Reeves #FinalSayForAll #FBPE (@nickreeves9876) September 22, 2017
While Nick Robinson of the BBC summed it up like this:
So, Brexit now means – paying what we pay now, abiding by same EU rules & allowing in as many EU migrants for 2 years after we Leave in '19?
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) September 22, 2017
Quite simply, the PM looks increasingly friendless. Not to mention bereft of ideas. It is very difficult to see how she continues from here.
– Read more Canary articles about Brexit here.
– Join us so we can continue to bring you the news that matters.
Featured image via David Mirzoeff
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?