‘Is that it?’ said Florence
So, how was it for you, the Florence Flop? For me it was – I realised afterwards – exactly like watching England play football. An inescapable patriotic urge to hope for a good performance, followed by a long, slow realisation that once again it isn’t going to happen, that these people are not as good as they ought to be, that the other team is not going to roll over.
And finally the death of hope, and that head-in-hands moment when you realise they have done it to you again.
Thank you Prime Minister. Thank you also Lord Mandelson, Ken Clarke, Keir Starmer and all the assembled Remainers who were beaming with startled delight yesterday. Thank you Michel Barnier, Guy Verhofstadt and, especially, Emmanuel Macron. You have made the position absolutely, abundantly clear.
The UK Government Brexit Team have all read Yanis Varoufakis’s book over the summer, and decided it has nothing to teach them. The Remainers have warmly welcomed the Florence speech, signalling without doubt that it is a terrible capitulation.
And Emmanuel Macron issued a response so identical to what he was saying a month ago – that the UK needs to clarify what it wants, and meet the EU’s demands regarding EU citizens’ rights, the Irish border and the ‘exit bill’ – that I had to check the date on the story.
All of which means that Brexit is in real trouble. The Government is not competent to get us out of the EU – in fact, it is not competent even to be talking to the EU – and only one party in the country now represents the UK’s largest ever democratic mandate. That is UKIP.
It’s time to acknowledge that if UKIP does not march again, Brexit will not happen. We will become an ‘associate member’ of the EU as it strides forward to its doom.
It’s time to recall and remobilise the People’s Army. Watch your incoming mail: your call-up papers and deployment orders are on their way.
Nigel’s response to the Florence speech – Telegraph
My reaction to Mrs May’s speech – Guardian
“It was hard to see what in Mrs May’s speech would conceivably move the EU’s position. Ernest entreaty and good faith is not a negotiating position, especially with the EU, when they are bent on an inflexible stance and a disadvantageous outcome to teach everyone a lesson.
“Oddly, she spent time setting up the vital importance of the UK’s co-operation to EU security, then said that our participation was ‘unconditional’. The latter is laudable, but cancels out the former, which is potentially a basis for getting the ‘flexibility, ambition and creativity’ she expects from the EU.
“Overall, the whole speech could be paraphrased as ‘Oh come on, guys. Can’t we just do this nicely?’. Time our side started negotiating properly. No further talks until Barnier and the EU start talking properly, drop the ransom demand and start talking about sensible trade relations.”
Brexit spokesman Gerard Batten’s call to arms
The fight resumes: Mrs May has betrayed the Referendum decision
Ransom demand – illegal bribery?
On the eve of the Florence Flop, I issued a statement suggesting that the EU’s ransom demand was in fact against the law; specifically, the Bribery Act 2010 which prohibits the payment of money to foreign officials to obtain contracts or business advantage. Breitbart kindly covered it. I wonder if it might gain some traction now?
Plus – news from our hard-working Assembly Members
Interim Party Leader