Theresa May endured her first Prime Ministers Questions this Wednesday. Despite some difficult questions from her own side, and a strong Corbyn line around Boris Johnson’s appointment as Foreign Secretary, she performed well. She was asked on two occassions about freedom of movement and the single market. Her responses should worry brexiteers and seem to signal a brexit sellout.
Being a brexiteer right now is an uncomfortable thing. Large parts of the media, politcians like David Lammy and embittered experts with skin in the game have spent the past three weeks laying it on thick to the voters for having the audacity to share a different view on the question of the European Union. Some are seeking to cherry-pick economic data to justify their predicions of armageddon, hoping above all for vindication at the expense of our nation. Others, such as David Lammy, are seeking to ensure that Britain does not leave the European Union and ignores the democratic result of the referendum. It is however a positive sign to see our own Chancellor no longer going around the world’s nations, telling our investors that Brexit would ruin us.
Keeping freedom of movement is a Brexit sellout
These people are of little concern though. David Lammy will continue to be laughed at, as he deserves to be, for his absurd claim that he’s somehow standing up for democracy. The ‘experts’ whom the majority of the British public ignored in the vote will continue to be ignored after it. The pollsters are trying to restore their reputation by claiming they have evidence for why they had no idea how Britain was going to vote. What is really important is that Brexit is implemented properly, which is why Brexiteers should be concerned by the Prime Ministers’ Qestuon Time answers.
Admittedly, Theresa May did fantastically well in her first Prime Ministers Questions. Of course, the opposition couldn’t be easier, but she did well nonetheless. The worst of her performance came when answering questions from her own side, the answers of which are worrying. Sir Edward Leigh, a highly prominent and well respected eurosceptic, gave the first of two questions to receive disappointing responses.
We must opt for access to the single market, not membership of it
He asked specifically if Theresa May would ensure that Britain does not maintain it’s membership of the single market, instead opting for a bi-lateral trade agremeement. Her response was to mention a new phrase; ‘controls on freedom of movement’. This is alarming. A real withdrawal from the political structures of the European Union would require us not being a member of the single market. By remaining a member of the single market, Britain would still be obliged to accept the full regulatory framework of it. It would also require accepting the full freedom of movement and joint citizenship.
Nobody should be talking about ‘controls’ on freedom of movement, David Cameron already tried and failed to obtain that. We should make very clear that we wish to operate with the European Union in the same way countries outside of the contintent already do. It sounds as if Theresa May wishes to retain membership of, as opposed to access to the single market. This would represent a mistake on her part, and a Brexit sellout which may return to haunt her.
Leave voters should be concerned by May’s Brexit comments
Phillip Davies also gave Theresa May a hard time. He mentioned that the people of Yorkshire overwhelmingly voted to leave the European Union in order to control immigration. The response? Another statement about ‘controlling’ freedom of movement instead of what we should be discussing which is its abolition. There also seems a change of tone with regards to the Conservative promise to reduce migration to the tens of thousands. It began a promise, became an ambition and is now a ‘belief’ according to Theresa May. Hardly convincing stuff.
Theresa May could, right now, go round EU nations and argue that the whole EU should end free movement. It’s clearly not working, most nations of the EU are unhappy with it. The EU could take the opportunity to show that its prepared to reform, boosting its well-known unpopularity. It won’t look like special treatment, so France will keep schtum. It will certainly please brexiteers and remainers alike, after all, even remain voters were concerned with immigration.
I sense a Brexit sellout, so do Tory eurosceptics
Why anybody in the Conservative Party has any faith in her on immigration is beyond me. This is the Home Secretary that campaigned for remaining in an institution that made the immigration target impossible. After 6 years of that impossible promise, she actually managed to increase immigration levels. As a Home Secretary she is defined solely by her tenure. If she was defined by her record, we’d be a lot more sceptical of her commitments, with good reason. Let’s not let Theresa may invoke a brexit sellout.