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Brexfactor: Fruitcakes, loonies and out-of-the-closets

Anne-Marie Morris - Credit: Archant

Cock ups, chaos and calamity – Brexit is a shitstorm like no other. We pick over the carcass of another rotting week of Brexit madness

10) Theresa May

‘Only the Conservatives can deliver a successful Brexit’ – remember that? It seems Theresa May is flip flopping on yet another election promise. She has now made it clear if Jeremy Corbyn would like to form a very loose alliance to stop her being defeated in the Commons she would be happy to have a chat. Coalition of Chaos, anyone?

9) Jacob Rees-Mogg

With his received pronunciation and a political ideology stuck somewhere in the 1890s, Jacob Rees-Mogg is a throwback politician. In his latest observations, though, he seems to have regressed back to childhood. Britain’s approach to Brexit negotiations, he says, have been too soft. ‘Too often it seems we want to roll over and have our tummies tickled, and I’m very against tummy tickling in this context.’ In what context he does advocate tummy tickling does not bear thinking about.

8) Peter Szijjártó

At last – we have a friend in Europe. Only one problem … Britain’s admirer is Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjártó. He claims that if Britain walked away from the negotiating table with no deal it would leave Europe in ‘big trouble’. And like our other new bestie Donald Trump Szijjártó has some strange beliefs on walls after backing Hungary’s controversial border security. The huge fences prompted European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to call prime minister Viktor Orban a ‘dictator’. With friends like these …

7) John Redwood

(Fake news)

Veteran Tory John Redwood fancies himself as a journalist it seems. Along with the other Brexiteers Redwood foams at the mouth about supposed biased in the BBC and elsewhere in the media. What hasn’t yet dawned on Redwood is that if there is no good news, the BBC can’t just make it up. Anyway, he decided to come up with his own version of a G20 report after claiming the Angela Merkel fan club must have penned Auntie’s. Apart form the odd bit of loose grammar and some style points, Redwood actually did a decent job of filing a news report. The script, however, bore little relation to reality. ‘Mrs Merkel chaired the summit badly hampered by her lack of authority at home … She set the whole summit up as a device to tame Mr Trump. Instead she failed to get his buy in to her wishes … Her main policy of promoting the end of carbon fuels was seen as burdening the world with dear energy.’

6) Anne Marie Waters

The only thing UKIP like more than fags and booze is fighting among themselves. The party has a long and very proud tradition of squabbles culminating in the now infamous picture of Stephen Woolfe sparko on the floor after an alleged altercation with fellow MEP Mike Hookem. Now Anne Marie Waters – who has described Islam as ‘evil’ and is in the running to become the next leader – wants that proud tradition to continue. Waters – a friend of wannabe hard man wee Tommy Robinson with who she set up the UK branch of anti-Muslim group Pegida – has already caused a split in the party with mass walk outs threatened if she wins. North East MEP Jonathan Arnott has even said a victory for Waters could mean the death of UKIP. Every cloud…

5) Colin Galloway

In a speech with striking similarities to Travis Bickle’s famous diary entry which opens the 1976 film Taxi Driver, UKIP councillor Colin Galloway has called for police to ‘help us clean up this unwelcome detritus’ from the streets. Nope he is not targeting litter bugs but the homeless. He said: ‘These beggars, vagrants, rough sleepers, homeless, troubled folks or whatever label you want to put on them must be removed from our city.’ UKIP have a history of stupidity when it comes to the unemployed or homeless. In March their Brexit spokesman demanded all homeless or jobless EU citizens should be deported. Out of sight, out of mind appears to be the policy.

4) Liam Fox

Unquestioning Brexit fanatic Liam Fox tells anyone who will listen about how he and his team are criss-crossing the globe on trade missions to ensure Brexit is the land of milk and honey we were all promised. Australia and the US are the ones the Brexiteers love to flaunt but Fox’s team have made more than three dozen trips to sniff out deals all over the world. Impressed? Neither is the Chancellor. Speaking at the G20 Philip Hammond said deals touted as the answer to any damage done by leaving the EU ‘won’t make any particular difference’. Has anyone told Fox?

3) Lawrence Webb

Just 12 miles from London City Hall is Havering – the Brexit capital of the capital, where almost 70% voted Leave. And now, we are told, some want another seismic political shift, a so-called Hexit from the red-tape and bureaucrats at City Hall. The truth, of course, is that the average chap on the street doesn’t give two hoots. But canny Ukipper Lawrence Webb has spotted a chance to repeat the national omnishambles in his own fiefdom and the council will now vote on whether to become a unitary authority. Webb said he believes City Hall has become like a mini EU. There are a few problems with this idea however like the loss of London-wide transport benefits, the whopping GLA pensions bill and funding of policing and fire services. Webb hates the mayoral role so much that he actually stood as a candidate in 2012 declaring his staunch enthusiasm for curbing immigration, allowing smoking in pubs and slashing VAT on beer. The London mayor has no say in any of these areas of course but when has something a trivial as that stood in UKIP’s way?

2) David Davis

Brexit negotiator hosted a get-together at his shared grace-and-favour mansion Chevening House for business leaders, many of whom are far from keen on the Government’s Brexit strategy. Given his central role in the Brexit talks, he is no stranger to meetings with those he doesn’t necessarily agree with and is presumably well-skilled in the odd artful tactics which can be deployed on such occasions. This particular occasion offered some bizarre hints about the sorts of chicanery and guile that the EU negotiating team can expect. ‘There was no air con. Or — if there was — it didn’t feel like it,’ one delegate told the FT while another quipped the food was ‘unmemorable’ and there was no wine. But the sauna-like conditions and lack of booze were not the most disappointing element. One attendee said: ‘It was all a bit too bloody breezy – He made it sound like it was going to be easy.’ Maybe Davis had finished the wine before his guests arrived?

1) Anne Marie Morris

Back in 2008 David Cameron removed the whip from Lord Dixon Smith after he used a racist term during a debate. He apologised saying he had ‘left his brains behind’ but the outrage it caused both inside and outside the party seemed to signal one thing: The Tories were finally modernising. Fast forward almost a decade and one of Cameron’s own 2010 intake is repeating the exact same phrase. Brexiteer Morris told a meeting of Eurosceptics, while discussing financial services post-Brexit: ‘Now we get to the real n****r in the woodpile which is in two years what happens if there is no deal?’ She immediately apologised. Fellow Brexiteer and Tory MP John Redwood was present but did not notice her use the phrase, adding ‘perhaps I wasn’t paying attention’. The lack of attention among Brexiteers is less surprising than the use of language

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