Brexit: PM lobs the ball back to EU

October 10, 2017 Europe , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS , UK

AFP photo



Hazel Speed


Mrs May was back on great form when she presented her Brexit Statement to Parliament. Despite media reports that the EU was saying the ball was actually in the UK Court, she emphatically confirmed the opposite to be the case, having first outlined, and reiterated, what the Government had discussed in formal negotiations with Europe so far, at least what was considered wise to disclose at this point.

It was sad to see, and hear, continuous jibes and loud mutterings from the Opposition, and representatives of UK Constituent Countries, given the seriousness of such an important matter and statement being presented.

Once over, such a political statement would have been received by an entire House of Commons in respectful silence – how times have changed!


It only became of national importance to the Labour Party, however, when Mr Corbyn formally said it was as he began to make his response, but that had not stopped him from chastising his own front bench, and others, for their immature behaviour up to this point.

Ironically, the Speaker rebuked one of the Conservative benchers for pointing at someone, yet at the same time one of Mr Corbyn’s Ministers had been doing the same thing for five minutes; talking over the Prime Minister, and nodding like one of those ornamental dogs which used to be so popular in the rear window of a car.

It was so irritating to watch that it would have been tempting to cover up that side of the TV screen.  Not the appropriate, nor respectful behaviour for a Minister of any Party.


The Scottish Nationalists expressed their usual disgruntled stance, i.e. that they want to stay in Europe.

The Prime Minister reminded them that once over their First Minister had advised the EU that if Scotland was not in Europe then EU Nationals could not be in Scotland.

Then again, Labour agreed with the Brexit Referendum vote to leave Europe, the Single Market and Customs Union, but now they want to stay in all three.

In fact, the general theme and many questions thrown at the Prime Minister was ‘could Brexit be revoked and could we stay in Europe?’

Incredulous in itself, however, Mrs May reminded them of salient facts, but the key one of which was that the British people had voted to Leave the EU and that was what the Government would deliver.


At times the exchanges were painful and embarrassing to listen to as one heard the inept (and desperate), questions and statements thrown at the Prime Minister.

For every pitiful plea regarding revoking Brexit, staying in Europe from one side of the House, it was interesting to see retorts of ardent Leave voters on the Conservative side who enquired if the Prime Minister was preparing to Leave Europe without a deal if necessary – some even wished a cut-off date soon, but she kept an optimistic stance without rejecting all options.

‘Patient and Pragmatic’ being the watchword – and yes, if necessary, the Government was prepared to act swiftly.

There were a number of politically cheeky questions for Mrs May to deal with, i.e. has the Prime Minister sought legal advice on the possibility of revoking Article 50, and/or her present stance and possible outcome?  Even Ms Miller‘s Supreme Court Case over Brexit was quoted regarding the possibility to overturn Article 50 by revoking same, but the Prime Minister soon ‘Scotched’ that by saying the particular Court finding did affirm that it could not be revoked.

(Note:  Now who wants their cake and eat it – which ‘voices’ won the ethos of that Court Case yet now hope it can be overturned – i.e those who support the Remainers in stance).

Also, the Government does not discuss aspects of legal advice in the way the question was raised, Mrs May reminded everyone.


It was so sad, that the Government was accused of doing nothing, just after she had stated all their work up to this point, which was impressive by any standards.

One thing which truly was disappointing to see was when a younger woman of the Labour benches asked why did the Prime Minister and her colleagues go to Florence, inferring the waste of money regarding costs involved.

The Prime Minister pointed out the obvious that as the subject related to European Countries it seemed the most appropriate thing to do.

Metaphorically, if the Parliamentary ‘debate’ had been a boxing match, the desperation on Opposition benches would have equated to the breaching of Marquess of Queensberry rules in that they said, and raised, inept and repetitious questions thus displaying a lack of intellectual acumen.  It was truly a one-sided event.

As the Prime Minister and her colleagues stated, this is a time when the Nation should come together.


Apparently, Mrs May chastised two of her own MEPs for voting against the UK, when a vote was taken to register the EU’s stance that insufficient progress had been made to forward negotiations on to trading issues with Britain post Brexit.  Then she added that many more numbers of Labour MEPs had similarly voted, yet Mr Corbyn had done nothing about them.

At one stage, she was asked if she would sack her Foreign Secretary and the camera caught Mr Johnson mouthing ‘rubbish.’

Anna Soubry, Conservative MP, expounded on a few points, thereby both annoying and endearing herself within the same sentence.  Listeners would have been left with the feeling that she may be one of the runners positioning themselves in readiness for the political crown.

The Government front bench sat impassively to the jibes aimed in their direction from obvious archers.

The imbalance in Parliament is obvious, as on one side sits intellect, experience, all of which comes from years of political wisdom and procedural knowledge, whereas facing them are younger voices who cannot be blamed for inexperience, but can be for ignorance of protocol and displayed lack of respect on so many levels.

Gone are the compelling speeches representing ‘the people’ (not the Corbyn Rock Star Fan Club).  The Late Barbara Castle & Co had great intellect and correctness of protocol – one wins an argument via such quiet and respectful traits.  To resort to jeers means a case has been lost.


There were a few touching comments made in respect of Gibraltar and from the Northern Ireland contingent, reassurance was sought that there would not be a line drawn in the Irish Sea.

Both reassurances were given by the Prime Minister as was respect, and honouring of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mrs May had to say, time and time again, that the transitionary period after March 2019 was just that, i.e to facilitate a Brexit ‘already agreed by then,’ so that literally the practicalities of transition could be realised.

It was humorous that Labour was concerning itself with the need for businesses to plan so they needed the answers now.  The Prime Minister had to, yet again, explain that detail could only be given when an agreement was achieved with the EU via current negotiations.

What angered me, as a viewer and listener of all the comments, was hearing old pleas from Labour Members of Parliament, for the Prime Minister to grant unilateral permission for EU citizens to reside in the UK, but not one word about UK citizens residing in EU countries; a point which Mrs May remarked upon.


An intriguing point was raised by Conservative MP Vicky Ford (Chelmsford), in that Germany apparently bought goods and services from British Companies, and if there was no deal with the EU, they would suffer losses, therefore, it was in all interests for there to be a deal, a point with which Mrs May concurred.

The inevitable snide reference of that potential £350 million pound per week towards the NHS, required a promise from the Government, according to one Labour MP, and there again, the Prime Minister reaffirmed that considerable monies would be saved once Britain formally left Europe, and at that point the Government would determine how it would be utilised to benefit all throughout the UK.

She added that there was already a planned Shared Prosperity Fund.

Of course, none of the other Parties congratulated Mrs May on that, though I recall some surprised moments via intake of breath here and there.

This remark was triggered too by the enquiry from a Welsh MP who enquired what Wales would receive, but quickly corrected his remark by rephrasing ‘what further monies.’  Most appropriate to correct given that all UK Countries have already been given generous amounts from the Government in recent times – a point referenced in part by Mrs May in response.


Currently, according to BBC2 TV programme, Daily Politics, a vacancy occurs for a new Black Rod, and all applications are apparently to be considered, not from just former military or Police Force environments.

One key requirement is to wear tights/stockings, and other aspects of historical attire, added to which, a whole host of unique authorities would be ascribed to the successful candidate, according to what was outlined (by a contributor), and it metaphorically equated to that of a political bouncer, having permission to chastise various Peers of the Realm when such was necessary.

Other duties were in relation to hammering on the door of the House of Commons during State Opening of Parliament (in replication of tradition reverting back to the times of the English Civil War).

One remark, thankfully, was partially slightly inaudible as the end music/credits of the programme began, as apparently Black Rod is responsible for organising the Lying in State of a Monarch, so whoever acquired the appointment of Black Rod would be organising The Queen’s lying in State.

I wonder what Her Majesty would have felt if she had heard that remark.


In contrast, one of the best comments in Parliament today, was when Mr Fabricant MP (Conservative), remarked that the EU had utilised misinformation and procedural delays regarding Brexit negotiations, but he added words to the effect that it was ridiculous (in reference to remarks of the Labour Opposition Party), that they could never even negotiate their way out of a paper bag. A remark which is pretty accurate having listened to their offerings in Parliament today.

The Labour Party, once the Party of ‘the people’ from a former age, no longer can make that claim within the same political coinage as they once justifiably could, so sadly they resort to dreadful droning over the voices of those who have usurped their former role.

If they only but realised that intellect controls the outcome of argument, and emulated that performance once more, they would soon recover lost ground.

Whilst they do not, then today’s Government acquire the respect of many who once voted Labour.

Above all of these factors, however, Britain, as a nation, should be standing united at this present time, and that is what will count and be recalled in history books and spoken of in schools of a future age.

That is the sadness of it all.

However, the Prime Minister remains the stalwart at this crucial time, and her impeccable performance at the Despatch Box reaffirms she is as strong as ever.  An added touch was that she was able to reference that the transitionary period proposed post Brexit was actually outlined in her Lancaster House Speech.

So who stole that idea from whom after all, Mr Corbyn!





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.

Art sites:

Editor review


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.