Off-piste, the more grounded of us probably agree with former Tory donor Rocco Forte who summed up the PM’s efforts by saying that a “third-rate negotiator in any middle-sized company” would have done a better job of the negotiations. Here’s 5 reasons why he's right:
1) Ludicrous Linear Timeline. From the beginning, the British Government accepted the linear timetable for negotiations put forward by the EU without the slightest quibble – sort the money, then agree withdrawal protocol, then negotiate free trade agreement (FTA). The deal to be done here was: agree the money (subject to successful FTA) and run the withdrawal and FTA negotiations concurrently. The women in my life are constantly telling me that men can’t ‘multi-task’. In this case (not that I’m completely accepting their premise), Mrs May acted like a man!
2) Lack of ‘No Deal’ Preparations. No matter how much Remainers like to muddy the waters the verdict of the British people was clear. Leave the EU. As someone at the forefront of the campaign in Britain’s most marginal constituency most of the EU Referendum debate was about the effects of a ‘No Deal’ since these were the terms on which those who wanted to Remain chose to engage (underpinned by ‘Project Fear’). As soon as she became PM and First Lord of the Treasury, May should have set a course for a No Deal Brexit. By not doing so she undercut her own stance that ‘No Deal is Better Than A Bad Deal’.
3) Irish Border Nonsense. Letting the EU back the UK into a corner over the Irish border was negligently amateurish in the extreme. As an army platoon commander I’ve patrolled that border and it is impossible to secure (except in times of national emergency with great resources, focus and effort). Both the British and Irish governments have said that they will not have a hard border with fixed installations, so what’s the issue? There is already currency, tax, VAT and (in some instances regulatory) differences. Allowing this issue to be caught up with the Northern Ireland ‘Peace Process’ is shameful. IRA/Sinn Fein and 'Loyalist' gangs either want peace and democracy, or not, and should be dealt with accordingly.
4) Not Respecting the EU. Yep, that’s right. The European Union made it clear from the start that the Four Freedoms (labour movement, capital, goods, services) were sacrosanct to the centrifugal forces of the “European Project”. By not respecting this Mrs May has spent two years driving us into a cul-de-sac. We can’t say we weren’t both warned and told what was on offer. In a tweet on 4 October 2018 Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, said the EU was offering Britain a "Canada plus plus plus" arrangement - something he dubbed "a true measure of respect". Mr Tusk wrote: "From the very beginning, the EU offer has been a Canada+++ deal. Much further-reaching on trade, internal security and foreign policy cooperation." Pity that ‘respect’ was not reciprocated by Mrs May.
5) Whose Business? The government has lined up 'business groups' to support the Edna Brexit Deal. But who are these people and who do they really represent? Talking head Lobbyists tell us: Certainty. Certainty. Certainty. But strife and chaos travel hand-in-hand with business opportunity (particularly globally). It’s just a question of whether business leaders are skilled and clever enough to take advantage. So-called ‘leaders’ in my own (high tech) sector have consistently got in wrong on Brexit. Signing letters during the EURef claiming that we’d be doomed if we didn’t cuddle up to the EU. Like their approach to government supported High Tec Cities this line is pure bunkum and is not ‘out the box’ thinking.
The way forward is clear. This Edna The Eagle Brexit deal must be rejected. There's still time to go for a Where Eagles Dare deal. You can watch the key elements of this here.