Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, has pledged to take the country out of the European Union. But before last year’s referendum on 23 June, Ms May was a firm advocate against Brexit and for Britain remaining in the EU.
Can we trust a prime minister whose principles blow so easily in the wind? Is this really the sign of a ‘strong and stable’ leader?
The previous Prime Minister, David Cameron, felt compelled to resign after he urged the country to vote ‘Remain’ but the electorate voted instead to ‘Leave’.
But former Home Secretary, Theresa May, felt no similar compunction to go, despite the fact that she too urged the country to ‘vote remain’.
In a speech in April last year, Mrs May spoke firmly against Brexit and in favour of Britain’s continued membership of the EU.
She said then:
“My judgement, as Home Secretary, is that remaining a member of the European Union means we will be more secure from crime and terrorism.”
And as for replacing the trade we do with the EU with other markets, she asserted that this would be an unrealistic route. She said:
“We export more to Ireland than we do to China, almost twice as much to Belgium as we do to India, and nearly three times as much to Sweden as we do to Brazil. It is not realistic to think we could just replace European trade with these new markets.”
And there were other serious risks too.
“If we do vote to leave the European Union, we risk bringing the development of the single market to a halt, we risk a loss of investors and businesses to remaining EU member states driven by discriminatory EU policies, and we risk going backwards when it comes to international trade.”
And other risks too.
“Outside the EU, for example, we would have no access to the European Arrest Warrant, which has allowed us to extradite more than 5,000 people from Britain to Europe in the last five years, and bring 675 suspected or convicted wanted individuals to Britain to face justice.”
And leaving the EU, she said, could lead to the disintegration of the EU, resulting in “massive instability” with “with real consequences for Britain.”
In addition, Brexit might prove fatal to “the Union between England and Scotland“, which she did not want to happen.
And if Britain left the EU, she argued, we might not be successful in negotiating a successful divorce settlement.
Explained Mrs May:
“In a stand-off between Britain and the EU, 44 per cent of our exports is more important to us than eight per cent of the EU’s exports is to them.”
“The reality is that we do not know on what terms we would win access to the single market.
“We do know that in a negotiation we would need to make concessions in order to access it, and those concessions could well be about accepting EU regulations, over which we would have no say, making financial contributions, just as we do now, accepting free movement rules, just as we do now, or quite possibly all three combined.
“It is not clear why other EU member states would give Britain a better deal than they themselves enjoy.”
In summary, Mrs May said just a year ago:
• “Remaining inside the European Union does make us more secure, it does make us more prosperous and it does make us more influential beyond our shores.
• “I believe the case to remain a member of the European Union is strong.
• “I believe it is clearly in our national interest to remain a member of the European Union.”
But as Prime Minister, Theresa May has completely changed her tune. She will now willingly take the country out of the Union and the EU Single Market, without even a glance back, and against her own advice.
Mrs May, who moved to 10 Downing Street less than a year ago, now says:
• “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.”
• “There will be no attempts to remain inside the EU.”
• “There will be no attempts to re-join it by the back door; no second referendum.”
• “As Prime Minister I will make sure that we leave the European Union.”
• “The people have spoken, we will deliver on that.”
And in a complete turnaround from her position prior to 23 June, Mrs May announced:
• “Leaving the EU presents us with a world of opportunities and I’m determined to seize them.”
How is it possible for Theresa May to take Britain in a direction which only a year ago she advocated was most definitely not in the country’s best interests?
After all, nobody forced her to be the gung-ho Brexit Prime Minister, did they?
But on 8 June, the electorate has an opportunity to force two-faced Theresa and her Tory regime out of office.
Other stories by Jon Danzig:
- All aboard for Brexit?
- Brexit Secretary, David Davis, gets 5 stars for double standards
- 70% of Mrs May’s cabinet wanted Britain to remain in the EU
- List of the latest articles by Jon Danzig
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