Get on with it? No, May’s Brexit plan was a disaster from day one | Polly Toynbee


The prime minister sought to appease hardliners and ended up with the worst kind of deal. Her letter to the people is hogwash

Theresa May’s statement to the Commons and her letter to the people are profoundly dishonest. This dutiful vicar’s daughter is not telling the truth about all the country loses if her deal is passed, and she knows it. As the underdog assailed on every side, her personal polling has risen as people take pity on her, in her relentless obstinacy. But she is not presenting true options on Brexit and never did, from the day she entered Downing Street.

Dissembling, she presents this as a great national compromise – that’s her last-ditch pitch for her two-week persuasion tour. She poses as the moderate, reasonable voice in the great Westminster brouhaha. In her letter to the people she urges us, on 29 March 2019, to “put aside labels of leave and remain for good”. “I want that to be a moment of renewal and reconciliation for our whole country.” The hypocrisy is breathtaking, since her deal offers neither. Hers is a hard Brexit, leaving our privileged place in the European Union for an unmapped destination largely beyond our control, terms and conditions unknown.

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