ANALYSIS: Theresa May's big Brexit statement shows nothing has changed

Posted On: 
21st September 2018

Theresa May has ramped up the rhetoric on Brexit - but ultimately nothing has changed.

Credit: 
PA Images

Sometimes, this stuff writes itself.

As the clock ticked down to 1.45, when we were told Theresa May would make a major Brexit statement, it emerged there would be a delay.

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The reason? There was a lack of power in 10 Downing Street. Insert your own punchline here.

When she did finally emerge shortly after 2 o’clock, the Prime Minister had a message for Brussels: I’ve bent over backwards to get a deal, now it’s your turn.

Her voice occasionally quivering with emotion, May then proceeded to reiterate what we already knew; she won’t keep Britain in the single market and customs union, and she sure as hell won’t break up the UK by agreeing to a border in the Irish Sea.

The problem is that the EU are equally intransigent, especially when it comes to Ireland.

May said the negotiations are now at an “impasse”. She’s right, and we’re now closer than ever to Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.

This was a statement which contained very little that was new, other than an guarantee for EU citizens living in the UK that their rights will be protected in such a scenario.

But with the Tory conference just nine days away, it was one she had to make if only to reassure her restive members and MPs that she is fighting the UK’s corner.

Once again, we saw a Prime Minister at the mercy of the EU and her own party.

Truly, nothing has changed.