They say that if you watch a person’s body at the moment of death, their hands give a little twitch as the last vestiges of mortality are snuffed out. I was reminded of that somewhat macabre image yesterday when former PM Theresa May mustered up the sort of forthright certainty she so obviously refused to employ against the EU, and promised to vote against the government’s Internal Market Bill.
Watching her exercise in pearl-clutching was like watching a body turn into a corpse: a last gasp of Remainer redoubt desperately trying to aid the aims of the European Union at the expense of her own government. But why should we be surprised? For that’s what May’s entire benighted premiership was all about. Ms Kitten Heels never really intended Brexit to mean Brexit. She wanted a close aligned relationship with Europe that would have rendered the referendum largely meaningless. She saw Northern Ireland as her golden opportunity to achieve such ends. That Boris has managed to find a way to untie her Gordian knot is the thing that really enrages May, not the question of peaceful relations within the province.
Just in case you needed reminding of just what a God-awful Prime Minister that woman was, here are some of her political chess moves she employed whilst in negotiations with Brussels:
1. Calling an unnecessary General Election and subsequently running the worst campaign in living memory.
2. No preparation made for Britain to leave the EU transition period without a deal.
3. Submitting to the EU’s sequencing on Article 50 negotiations.
4. Agreeing that the Northern Ireland frontier should be part of the withdrawal negotiations when really the matter belonged to discussions around the future relationship.
5. Attempting to trap the UK into a customs union and single market-type arrangement with no exit clauses whatsoever.
6. Presiding over a European election in which the Conservatives won just 9% of the national vote in May 2019.
You’d think with such a Frank Spencer-esque curriculum vitae the woman would learn some humility and the need to keep her trap shut for as long as possible. But no. There she was leaping from the traps yesterday like some coiffured version of Mick the Miller, castigating the government for doing nothing other than ensuring the free operation of the UK internal market across each and every part of the realm.
The latest bandwagon these closet Remainers (and their advocates in the media) have jumped on is this supposed need to rigidly stick in international law at all times. Honestly? So where then does the EU’s transgression of its own treaty obligations stand in relation to the bail-outs afforded to Greece and Ireland a decade ago? Where does the EU’s attempt to grab power over the operation of the Channel Tunnel in violation of a bilateral Anglo-French agreement stand in this chamber of international law purity? When it comes to the UK itself, you could very easily argue we broke international law (the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty) when Parliament voted for the renewal of Trident back in 2016! The UK Supreme Court has already ruled the application of Crown sovereignty in Parliament is the ultimate rule of law in this county. And it did so thanks to Gina Miller. Ah for the law of unintended consequences, eh!
Whatever problems the Johnson government currently experiences in regard to our negotiations with the EU comes largely from her legacy and her intentions. What would be most welcome from Theresa May right now would be a very long period of silence.