Theresa May’s Brexit plans are in tatters after she is humiliated by Donald Trump

 

EnAnd it was all going so well (Image: REX/Shutterstock1

If she were not partly responsible for her own humiliation you could almost feel sorry for Theresa May.

The Prime Minister pulled out all the stops for the US President. She laid on a glittering banquet at Blenheim Palace complete with military bands and arranged for him to have tea with the Queen.

She then delivered a grovelling speech in which she dangled the prospect of ripping up regulations (goodbye workers’ rights, hello chlorinated chicken and US firms getting access to the NHS?) to secure a trade deal with the United States.

And Donald Trump responded by giving an incendiary and frankly insulting interview to Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper in which took a blow torch to Mrs May’s Brexit plans and sung the praises of her rival Boris Johnson.

Theresa May needs to confront, not fawn before, the President (Image: REUTERS)

Not content with scorching the Prime Minister, he fanned the flames of the far-right populism with some horrid language about immigrants threatening European culture and attacked his favourite target of Sadiq Khan for being soft on terrorism .

Responsibility for terrorism, by the way, falls to the Home Secretary not the London Mayor.

The sheer rudeness of a head of state undermining a supposed ally in this way is unlikely to be forgotten or forgiven.

Many will sympathise with the Prime Minister having to deal with a man who abuses her hospitality in such a way.

Those who objected to Barack Obama’s intervention in the EU referendum should be equally appalled by Trump’s intervention in the current Brexit debate.

But Mrs May brought much of this misery upon herself.

Why talk about shared values with the US when it is so blatantly apparent the current President shares almost none of our values?

Theresa May says Rebellious Tories risk bring Labour and Jeremy Corbyn into government

Theresa May has warned hardline Brexiters to fall into line or risk handing power to Jeremy Corbyn after Boris Johnson became the second cabinet minister to resign in 24 hours, claiming Britain was “headed for the status of colony”.may merkel

After a dramatic day of twists and turns in Westminster, the prime minister addressed Conservative MPs for an hour, issuing a stark warning that divided parties lose elections and telling her party that “to lead is to decide”.

She then returned to Downing Street to fill the gaps left on the government benches by several resignations, sparked by the Brexit secretary, David Davis, who stepped down late on Sunday night.

“If we don’t pull together, we risk the election of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister,” one cabinet minister said, summarising what was said at the meeting. “At least half a dozen people made that point and the prime minister responded, too – what is good for the country is a Conservative government.”

Johnson had been due to host a summit about the western Balkans on Monday afternoon but was instead holed up in his official residence with close advisers, considering his position.

Dutch PM joins calls for ‘urgent Brexit clarity’

The Dutch prime minister has urged Theresa May to “urgently” clarify “every aspect” of the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Mark Rutte made the comment following a working lunch with the British prime minister on Tuesday in The Hague.

He said: “We urgently need clarity about every aspect of the future relationship between the EU and the UK.”

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - JULY 03 : Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (R) welcomes his British counterpart Theresa May (L) for a work lunch at the Catshuis, The Hague, Netherlands on July 3, 2018.  (Photo by Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)The Dutch prime minister has previously used Brexit to highlight how “EU membership is a conscious choice” and is keen to continue good relations with the UK.

An ally of Mrs May’s amongst the EU27, he has however not been afraid to criticise the lack of progress over Brexit, especially when it comes to trade.

Pressure is piling on Mrs May to get on with Brexit, with Chancellor Philip Hammond acknowledging that there is an “urgent” need for the government to agree its Brexit position.

Ahead of crunch talks with the cabinet at the prime minister’s country retreat, Chequers, on Friday, he said ministers recognise the critical need to set out more details of the trading and customs relationship they want with the EU post-Brexit.

Philip Hammond
© Reuters Philip Hammond

“On Friday the cabinet will meet to set out our way forward in our negotiations with the European Union,” he told parliament on Tuesday as the prime minister had lunch with her Dutch counterpart.

“We recognise that this is now urgent and that we need to make progress.”

He added that the government needed to agree on a Brexit which “delivers the needs of business”.

Firms, including Airbus and BMW, last week expressed frustration over the lack of progress but were criticised for speaking out by ministers including Jeremy Hunt and Liam Fox.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) earlier on Tuesday warned businesses are running out of patience over the lack of clarity, more than two years after the vote to leave the EU.

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - JULY 03 : Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (R) meets with his British counterpart Theresa May (L) for a work lunch at the Catshuis, The Hague, Netherlands on July 3, 2018.  (Photo by Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
© Getty THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – JULY 03 : Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (R) meets with his British counterpart Theresa May (L) for a work lunch at the Catshuis, The Hague, Netherlands on July 3, 2018. (Photo by Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

It urged politicians to cast aside “squabbling” and work in the national economic interest to remove uncertainty over tax, tariffs, customs and regulation.

The Commons treasury select committee also pushed ministers on Tuesday, calling for the treasury and the Bank of England to draw up analysis of the impact of any Brexit deal.

It also requested research from the Financial Conduct Authority on the potential impact of the withdrawal agreement and future framework.

Treasury committee chairwoman Nicky Morgan said MPs should be “properly informed” before the promised parliamentary vote on the deal.

Theresa May has promised more details in a White Paper to be published after Friday’s get-together at her official country residence.

A “third” customs plan will be presented to the cabinet on Friday to offer “the best of both worlds” – an independent trade policy and friction-free trade.

Government to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’ as part of LGBT action plan

Ministers will take action to end conversion therapies which claim to “cure” peoples’ sexuality under new measures to tackle the inequalities faced by LGBT people in Britain.

Pride flag

Ministers have unveiled a 75-step action plan to improve equality for LGBT people

The Government will also appoint a national LGBT health adviser as part of a plan to deliver what Theresa May said will make for “real and lasting change”.

The moves come after a major online Government survey found 51% of the 108,000 who responded had to wait too long for access to mental health services.

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The study of some of the difficulties facing LGBT people living in the UK also revealed that 2% had undergone conversion therapy with a further 5% having been offered it.

Ministers are expected to roll-out a series of legislative and non-legislative changes to end the practice, which is used by some religious groups.

It was also revealed that 68% of same sex couples said they did not hold hands in public for fear of abuse.

Ministers’ 75-step action plan has also pledged to work with the police to improve how hate crime incidents are responded to, while greater support will be given to teachers and pupils at schools and other education bodies.

It will also see the beginning of a consultation on whether laws should be changed to make it easier for transgender people to change their birth certificates.

On launching the plan, Mrs May said it sets out “concrete steps” to “deliver real and lasting change across society”.

“I was struck by just how many respondents said they cannot be open about their sexual orientation or avoid holding hands with their partner in public for fear of a negative reaction,” she said.

“No one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love.

“We can be proud that the UK is a world leader in advancing LGBT+ rights, but the overwhelming response to our survey has shone a light on the many areas where we can improve the lives of LGBT+ people.”theresa

Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Minister, Dawn Butler, said: “Much of this plan is yet more reviews and consultations.

“After years of empty rhetoric and broken promises, we need to see concrete actions to show the Government is serious about tackling the inequalities faced by LGBT+ communities.”