THE BREX FACTOR: ​Brexit’s coming home for mismanager May

PUBLISHED: 03:00 06 July 2018

Anti-Brexit demonstrators campaign opposite the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire.

Anti-Brexit demonstrators campaign opposite the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire.

Press Association

STEVE ANGLESEY rounds up the losers and the losers (because there are no winners) of another crazy seven days on Planet Brexit

THERESA MAY

The prime minister told the Commons: “There has been much jocularity around the term ‘Brexit means Brexit’ but it does mean Brexit.”

What’s next, “I am the Brexitman, they are the Brexitmen, I am the Brexit, Goo-goo-ga-joob”?

Can it be long before she answers every question with “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming, Brexit’s coming home”?

LORD ASHCROFT

“Forget the hysteria. Leaving the European Union would not put a bomb under the British economy,” wrote the billionaire Brexiteer on June 22, 2016.

And now? Ashcroft, himself a resident in the tax haven of Belize, has penned an article telling British companies to set up a base in Malta so they can trade easily with the 27 after Brexit.

“Some UK firms have understandably decided, particularly in a period of uncertainty, that they will need a base 
in the EU in future,” he wrote, neglecting to tell them to forget the hysteria.

NIGEL FARAGE

The nicotine-stained man-frog’s attempts to be taken seriously as a political pundit in the USA have hardly been enhanced with a bizarre bit of name-dropping in an Australian newspaper. “In 2013 I was having dinner in Washington with a complete unknown, an eccentric guy called Jeff Sessions, who is now attorney general,” he ribbited.

By 2013, Sessions had been a state senator for 16 years, having won three elections. As the senior Republican on the budget committee, he was one of the most recognisable opposition figures in America.

And he’d already risen to national prominence for policies too outlandish even for UKIP – including his support, in 1996, for a mandatory death sentence for those convicted of selling marijuana for a second time. Not even UKIP thought of that!

TORY CREDIT CLAIMERS

“We are introducing new rules to protect package holidaymakers and save customers tens of millions of pounds,” tweeted Conservative Central HQ press office on July 1. Oddly they neglected to mention that this was nothing whatsoever to do with Britain but an EU initiative in operation across all member states.

JOHN REDWOOD

Two months after refusing to discuss the customs union with anti-Brexit campaigner Femi Oluwole on LBC because he “wasn’t told we were having a debate”, the Vulcan’s yellow streak has emerged once again. Declining to discuss the Tories’ Brexit split, he told Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow, “this isn’t the interview I agreed to give... you’re deliberately trying to provoke a Conservative Party row”.

How unlike what Redwood and his pals are trying to do every time they question Theresa May’s cautious approach to Brexit and demand instead that she drives us all off a cliff at 100mph.

ARRON BANKS

With the National Crime Agency (NCA) reportedly looking at his links to Russia and the Charity Commission eyeing a missing donation to his foundation, you’d have thought the cuddly Leave.EU backer would be wary of legal action. Yet he’s appeared to run the risk of a defamation case after calling George Soros an “ex-Nazi collaborator”.

It’s an allegation that has been made in the past by members of the American alt-right, including Roseanne Barr (just look how well that kind of stuff is going for her) and naturally there’s no evidence whatsoever to support it. But the United States’ lax libel laws mean Soros has so far been reluctant to take action.

Will that continue, or will he join the growing queue of problems for poor Bankski?

GERARD BATTEN

With UKIP’s poll ratings down the pan and so much of their membership halfway round the bend, it’s no surprise that the party’s leader is upset by a teenager’s GCSE art project showing Nigel Farage’s face on a toilet seat.

“What better way to make a Remainer evacuate their bowels than for them to see a portrait of the man who led the Leave campaign,” fumed Batten on Twitter, “and where better for them to sit than over an image of the Starry Sphincter which they worship?”

Yes, and how long before Starry Sphincter joins Count Dankula, Sargon of Akkad and their alt-right chums in Baron von Battenburg’s new, crazier-than-ever UKIP?

MICHAEL GOVE

The Sun reported Gove “physically tore up” a printout of Theresa May’s new customs plan “in a flash of anger”. The Guardian’s political editor Heather Stewart later clarified that this latter-day Charles Atlas had managed to rip just a single page.

Any ideas why the Sun – who may be a landing place for Gove’s columnist wife Sarah Vine if she exits the Daily Mail, in the wake of Paul Dacre’s departure – should want to make the environment secretary look macho?

CHLOE WESTLEY

The Australia-born spokesman for secretive right-wing pressure group the Taxpayers’ Alliance regularly pops up on Question Time, Daily Politics and The Marr Show with her sunshine-and-unicorns view of Brexit. But this Sunday at London’s Troubador she’ll be reading her poetry as party of a ‘Big Brexit Party’.

In case any TNE readers can’t make it, here’s a taste of what you’ll be missing, from Chloe’s poem Young And Free:

“Britain, when I landed on your shores/You were neither young or free. For too long, your people have been/Bled dry/Of their money, their identity/And their power.

“My great grandfather was called to arms to defend his home from invasion/So how can I be afraid/Of using my small voice to stand up/For you as well?”

Stirring stuff which has won Aussie Chloe a new nickname: Pam Ayers Rock.

JACOB REES-MOGG

Football-crazy Jake told listeners of his Moggcast podcast that the World Cup was “looking good” and praised the “very clever tactical defeat to Belgium... very cleverly and subtly done” which gave England a better chance of going on to glory.

Hmmm ... can readers think of another situation in which we might have to accept a narrow defeat to the men from Brussels in order to secure long-term progress for the nation?

Altogether now: “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming, Brexit’s coming home!”

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