Brexit: Mrs May broadcasts her own brand of a West Wing Episode

January 18, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP



Hazel Speed

There are very few people I would listen to for 45 minutes. Even more so anyone representing the Conservative Party, but that said Mrs May’s Statement today is of such importance to the UK’s exit of the European Union that I wanted to hear every word she had to say.

I was somewhat surprised why the venue for Mrs May’s Statement was Lancaster House and not Parliament.

Even The Speaker of The House of Commons, John Bercow, was prompted by one of the Members of Parliament present during the Parliamentary Session today that all famous previous Prime Ministers would have made their Statement to Parliament first. Mr Bercow continued morphing into the remark so that they could subsequently take questions – and added that when he learned of today’s Statement he did make the same point known to ‘The Powers that be’ and requested a representative should at least make the same Statement at the same time in Parliament.

He went on to say that duly, he noticed Mr David Davis (Exiting the EU Secretary), was present and Mr Davis was then called to read the same details/Statement given by Mrs May earlier.


Photo – Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP


Mrs May presented her Statement just before noon.

The prepared rostrum at Lancaster House set the tone of what was to come with its displayed slogan ‘A Global Britain’.

Rostrum is an appropriate word given that Mrs May’s delivery of content reminded me as that of a Vicar giving a sermon, such was the style and nuance here and there with occasional hand gestures or reassurance mode one might make to a congregation. At one point she even made reference to Purgatory just around the section of her Statement when reference to a transitionary leaving of Europe should not last forever. She also warned Europe not to be vindictive as it would harm them more than the UK but listen to her recording to hear specific phraseology and stern expression, both visually and audibly. A nice touch of fire and brimstone there!

The Statement itself commenced with a terrific introduction giving a thumbnail recap of how the UK had reached this point, e.g. The people voted to Leave Europe with their eyes open and knew the road ahead would be uncertain but would lead to a brighter future and now it was down to herself as Prime Minister to deliver it.

Well crafted!

Mrs May confirmed the importance of all the Constituent Countries of the United Kingdom saying it was at the heart of all we do.

Again, almost reminiscent of a Biblical reference to ‘iron and clay not merging’, Mrs May went to repeated lengths to stress the value of the EU to its Member Countries, with whom the UK share many values and respect each other’s cultures, but that the UK has to rely on its independent Sovereignty and its own Laws and Parliament especially as it does not have its own written Constitution. The UK wished to govern itself with its own Parliamentary Laws in essence.

At one point this political cuddling was a metaphorical inference of a Mother explaining to a young child that things were about to change as another baby would soon arrive but mummy still loves you.

Mrs May went through all the Brexit points pleasing any hard or clean Brexiteer – leaving the Single Market/Imposed Immigration Quotas – then she interjected Global trading every so often whilst at the same time wishing to still trade at the EU shop now and then within free trade.

There was one area of ‘fudging’ that is either most ambiguous or a sell out in respect of the Customs Union, e.g. Not a full Customs Union but some type of free trade therein (and Mrs May referenced certain scenarios which was to either appease without actual intention or hope of a deal or worse, ‘may’/May turn out to be a sell-out to the Brexit Voter who wanted no exceptions but to get out of the Customs Union also). That is partly inferred as one has to be out to engage in free deals globally. Mrs May alluded to Banks and cars here if memory serves, but hard Brexiteers will be hoping she was merely playing to the gallery.


Photo – Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP


Mrs May promised a vote both in the House of Commons and House of Lords on the proposed Brexit Agreement in due course but she reiterated it was not in the interest of the Country to give a blow by blow account enroute.

Mrs May even credited the EU Countries for knowing why it was wise to say little in public whilst negotiations were ongoing and she too acted in the same manner for those reasons also and that whilst the media and people debated this and that it was her job to do what the people wanted her to do and that was to leave Europe and get on with it.

Mrs May referred to the need to keep Northern Ireland free of a hard border and some discussions would have to be entered into in that regard to facilitate the same.

UK Nationals who reside in EU Countries and vice versa in respect of EU Citizens who presently reside in the UK would be secure under any reciprocal agreement.

A Global Britain was referred to when references were made to skilled people and students, especially in Sciences, Medicine, etc, in commerce or attending Universities, would be welcome globally (including EU applicants thereto).

In Parliament today (during a Northern Ireland debate about a sudden current election regarding power-sharing at Stormont) the statement of requesting no further political ‘Febreezing’ was raised by one Member – the best term I have heard since Brexit.

Mrs May listed so many world Nations queuing up to trade with Britain once it leaves Europe and I am pleased to say a reference was made to the Nations of the Commonwealth – inclusive of ‘old and new friends’.

The Statement today was well crafted (whoever wrote it, though I am sure Mrs May herself may have been the Author including clever insertions here and there).

As John F. Kennedy was famous for saying “Ask not what your Country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” Mrs May finalised her speech with a similar soundbite “That when future generations look back at this time, they will judge us not only by the decision that we made, but by what we made of that decision.”










Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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