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Brexfactor: Tough-talking Davis rolls over on day one

Brexit secretary David Davis - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

We pick the most wrong and unstable Leavers of the week

10) The Duke Of York

Breaking with the tradition that members of the Royal Family don’t normally discuss political issues, Prince Andrew told the BBC that businesses worried about Brexit ‘can either look at it as a glass half-empty… or you could look at it as a glass half-full. He added that UK firms should think ‘the world is your oyster’ and that ‘getting over the fence, there might be some fresh grass out there’.

Sadly the Duke neglected to inform business to keep their sunny sides up because life is just a bowl of cherries but at least we now know why the Royals tend to stay away from politics.

9) Paul Dacre

The Daily Mail editor, who doesn’t hate the EU quite enough to reject the subsidies he receives from it for the upkeep of his country estates in Sussex and the Scottish highlands, had a disappointing election night. It’s been revealed that the doddery expletive factory had prepared a triumphant front page to greet Theresa May’s landslide, with a Union Jack and the headline ‘Now Let’s Get On With Brexit!’ Alas the 10pm exit poll foiled those plans and Dacre is said to have slunk away from the Mail office shortly after….

8) Nigel Farage

After a trip to a right-wing conference in the USA, Farage reassured LBC listeners that ‘many people in North Carolina are genuinely excited about Brexit’. So if this whole EU negotiations thing goes wrong we can just trade with the Tar Heel State (GDP smaller of that of Norway)!

But what kind of people did Nigel meet on his visit? At the Conservative Leadership Conference in Raleigh he shared a platform with people like gun enthusiast Paul Valone, who argues that the UK’s weapons ban ‘has resulted in an explosion of violent crime of every type… including gun crime’. Valone prefers the US model, which results an annual gun death tally about 160 times that of the UK, despite America having only six times the population.

Also on the bill: writer John Fund, who supports Donald Trump’s claims of widespread pro-Democrat vote fraud despite a pesky lack of evidence, and George Landrith, whose pressure group Frontiers For Freedom is currently leading a bizarre war on proposals to make hearing aids cheaper and available over the counter rather than on prescription as this would ‘expand the size and power of the federal government’. And you thought Nigel’s British chums were bad…

7) Lord Lawson

Chairman of the official Leave campaign, Lord L has spent much time since the referendum scoffing at those who predict tough financial times for the UK if we formally leave the EU. Only in April he dismissed Richard Branson’s concerns as ‘rubbish’. So it’s surprising to hear that a few weeks later, at a private dinner in the City, Nigella’s dad told guests he wanted Theresa May to win a sizeable majority at the general election as he expected Brexit to deliver sizeable short-term damage, and she would need to pile up seats now to have any hope of winning a majority next time around.

6) David Coburn

UKIP’s leader in Scotland has announced he will stand to replace Paul Nuttall in order ‘to stop entryists, dilettantes and single issue loonies’. That’s 99 percent of the membership alienated, but perhaps Coburn’s policies could still swing it.

Under his leadership at the general election, the Scottish Kippers pledged to both raise the drink-drive limit and lower VAT on takeaway fast food, two things which we’re sure would make a significant impact on mortality rates among Scottish men. Could this be UKIP’s strategy for dealing with the care crisis across Britain? Exciting times!

5) Iain Duncan Smith

Laughing theatre mask = Comedy character

Last weekend on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday show: IDS says: ‘We don’t need silly people in the Conservative party with big mouths and small brains running around the place trying to tell everybody what they’re going to do.’

This weekend on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday show: A pot calls a kettle black.

4) Richard Desmond

In the hours after tragedy hit West London, only one question was on the narrow mind of Desmond’s Express: ‘Did EU regulation mean deadly cladding was used on Grenfell Tower?’

Despite a game attempt by the paper to link the disaster to the 2010 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the answer unsurprisingly turned out to be ‘no’. The cladding used on Grenfell Tower was banned in Germany, across Europe and, as it now turns out, in the UK too.

Meanwhile it was revealed that Desmond gave £76,000 in free advertising to the Tories in the final week of the election campaign in an attempt to counteract the Corbyn surge. Another job magnificently done and we look forward to an Express article asking: ‘Did EU regulations lead to me throwing my money down the drain?’

3) Michael Gove

Funny how stances change depending on who you need to appease. Just over a year ago, squishy-faced assassin Gove was assuring Britain that removing EU red tape on food hygiene would extend ‘new opportunities to developing nations and in the process (cause) prices in Britain to become cheaper’.

Yet now, in his new role as environment secretary, the Govester can see a march of raised pitchforks heading his way if he allows cheap, low-quality food into Britain to undercut our own farmers’ produce. Hence he told the Royal Three Counties agricultural show in Malvern: ‘I have absolutely no intention of allowing any of the protections which are currently in place, which ensure that the consumer has high-quality food and that farmers are encouraged to invest in maintaining very high standards, there’s no way that’s going be undermined.’

So to summarise: We’re not getting cheaper food, we’re not getting £350 million a week for the NHS either and you can’t believe a single word that comes out of Michael Gove’s mouth.

Well, apart from the stuff about Boris Johnson not being fit to be Prime Minister. You can definitely believe that.

2) Kay Burley

The veteran Sky News host demonstrated her channel’s fair and balanced approach by Tweeting: ‘Just watching Channel 4 news. Why do we still care what Nick Clegg thinks? Asking for a friend.’

One answer might be that until two years ago he was Deputy Prime Minister, that until two weeks ago he was an MP and that he has valuable things to say about the EU and a potential Brexit – none of which can be said of regular Sky News fixture Nigel Farage.

Another might be that whatever Clegg’s failings, he’s never responded to a devastating terrorist attack by announcing ‘the entire eastern seaboard of the United States has been decimated in a terrorist attack’ or tweeting a photo of a dog with the caption ‘sadness in his eyes’.

1) David Davis

Having threatened ‘the row of the summer’ on his determination to have no discussions on an EU divorce bill without trade talks running in parallel, the Brexit secretary climbed down on June 19, two days before the sunny season officially begins. Not so much the row of the summer as the submission of the spring.

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