Dear Prime Minister,
Today you told us that in 2018, we will feel ‘renewed confidence and pride’ in Britain. Are you the same Prime Minister who throughout the last 18 months has been telling us that we’re all coming together to support Brexit? The same PM who in June squandered her entire political credibility and majority on a General Election in which, presumably, you had the same confidence you would win.
So, forgive me, Prime Minister if I have neither confidence in you nor in the prospects for the UK in 2018.
And if you’ll indulge me, there are three reasons why not.
First, your government has not shown it has the slightest clue what it is doing in Brexit negotiations. After 18 months of posturing, insulting our EU partners and insulting the intelligence of voters with how easy and wonderful the whole thing will be, you have caved to the EU’s negotiators on every major point from the Irish border to the financial settlement. (And then insulting us further by telling us what a triumph the outcome was).
Your dog of a government, wagged by the tail by the rabid Brextremists on your backbenches, has adopted the most extreme interpretation possible of the Leave vote of June 26. In a Tory-party-first drive to the bottom you are gambling our economy, our position in the world and our security on a platform of nationalism and isolationism. Our children will never forgive us for the wanton destruction we are inflicting on their futures.
Second, you have toxified our national political debate and social discourse, facilitating an environment in which immigrants are blamed for every ill in our country and those who oppose Brexit or even attempt to subject it to the rule of law or the scrutiny of our sovereign parliament are labelled traitors, saboteurs and enemies.
Hate crimes have rocketed and you’d like to understand how once tolerant and respectful Britain has fallen so far and so fast, perhaps you could ask Mr Dacre to show you some of the front pages of his newspaper the next time you’re round there for dinner. We judge you in part by the company you keep. And you keep company with bigots and propagandists.
Third, our economy, which was flying until the spectre of Brexit overshadowed it at the beginning of this year is now slowing down while the economies of our neighbours are speeding up. At least one reliable estimate holds that the uncertainty over Brexit is already costing the UK £350m a week. That’s a figure you might recognise. So while inflation rises and wages stagnate our economy is stalling. There’s no £350m a week for the NHS, and there never was, instead we have NHS trusts closing A&E wards because they don’t even have room for new cases in their corridors, never mind the wards.
And what have you provided us with instead? Empty rhetoric – ‘take back control’, ‘global Britain’- and futile gesture politics: a blue passport.
And why does the blue passport matter? Because it’s all there is left. Even the most ardent Brexiteer seems to have given up arguing that there are any potential positives of this debacle, merely that as the ‘will of the people’ it is our duty to deliver it.
Britain has become poorer, nastier and isolated under your ‘leadership’. It is likely to become still poorer and nastier yet in 2018.
So here’s what I’ll take pride in in 2018. I’ll continue to fight Brexit, to expose the corruption of its celebrants, the incompetence of its execution and the vacuum at the heart of its meaning.
And here’s what I have confidence in: that the turning tide of public opinion will drown you, your hateful party and the catastrophe of Brexit.
Happy New Year.