Theresa May’s Bad Faith 157

The Salzburg debacle was a low point of British diplomacy, because neither Number 10 nor the Brexit ministers paid any attention to the information being provided by Britain’s Embassies, which was that there is fizzing resentment in major capitals at what is viewed as Theresa May’s rank bad faith.

Good faith is an intangible, but it is the most important asset you can have in diplomatic negotiations, and building up trust is the most important skill in international relations. The EU remains genuinely concerned for the future of Ireland, which unlike the UK is a continuing member.

In December, after hard talks, the UK signed up to the Joint Report as the basis for negotiation. This contained the famous “backstop” on North/South Ireland relations. It is worth looking on what the text of the “backstop” actually says.

49. The United Kingdom remains committed to protecting North-South cooperation and to
its guarantee of avoiding a hard border. Any future arrangements must be compatible
with these overarching requirements. The United Kingdom’s intention is to achieve
these objectives through the overall EU-UK relationship. Should this not be possible,
the United Kingdom will propose specific solutions to address the unique
circumstances of the island of Ireland. In the absence of agreed solutions, the United
Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the
Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all island
economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.

What May is now saying is that it is impossible for Northern Ireland to maintain alignment with the rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union, when as per her Chequers plan the rest of the UK will not maintain that alignment. This would involve a border in the Irish Sea which, she repeatedly declaims, “no British government could accept”.

The problem is, she has already accepted it. There is no possible meaning of last December’s backstop agreement which does not involve profoundly different customs and regulatory rules for Northern Ireland, unless the UK remains part of the single market, which May has rejected. To state now that such difference for Northern Ireland is unacceptable for reasons of unionist fundamentalism, is too late. You signed up to it last December.

The humiliation of Salzburg occurred because there was never chance of any sympathy from EU member states for an attempt to dishonour the agreement of nine months ago. There is no way out of that conundrum. The government has belatedly remembered the existence of the FCO as a potential tool in international relations, and ambassadors in our Embassies in EU countries are currently staring in bafflement at dense and complex instructions urging them to convince their hosts that black is white.

I have refrained from comment on the Brexit negotiations, but among the rafts of mainstream media coverage, I have not seen this issue of May’s bad faith given the prominence it deserves. Whatever your stance on Brexit, conducting negotiations in this manner – the cliche of perfidious is in fact the best description – is a ludicrously ineffective way to behave. On the most profound political, economic and social transformation the UK has embarked on in decades, the Tory government is an utter shambles.

I personally changed my rose-tinted view of the EU after seeing its leaders line-up to applaud the Francoist paramilitary forces for clubbing grandmothers over the head for having the temerity to try to vote in Catalonia. My interest in Third Pillar cooperation ended there. But leaving the customs union appears to me a ridiculous act of self harm.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

157 thoughts on “Theresa May’s Bad Faith

1 2
  • Teflon Don

    EU concerned about Ireland which it insisted swallow AIB debt and bankrupted the country? That EU?

    The EU which is dictating as to Ireland’s tax policy?

    • Hatuey

      Utter crap. The EU policy on the banking crisis was to delegate responsibility to each country but Ireland was a special case and received a massive bail out. The reason Ireland was a special case was largely down to its close proximity and connectedness with British banks, hence the British interest in helping Ireland.

      You really should do your homework before regurgitating this sort of stuff and stop trying to blame the EU for your personal problems and inadequacies.

      • Barry

        Utter crap yourself! The Irish taxpayer was burdened with the debts of banks and bondholders, to the tune of €100bn+. Ireland was not bailed out.

        • Hatuey

          Correct me if I’m wrong but the term ‘bail out’ occurs in the following, along with amounts involved, the lenders, etc… why not read before jumping out on a limb? Did you just imagine that you had Information on a subject without doing any homework?

          Stop undermining the internet with your fake knowledge.

          “On 28 November 2010, European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), colloquially called the European Troika, agreed with the Irish government in a three-year financial aid programme on the condition of far-reaching austerity measures to be imposed on the Irish society in order to cut government expenditure.[69] The agreements were signed on 16 December 2010[when?] by the Irish government and the European Commission….

          “While it is generally assumed that EU/IMF bailout was mainly for the banks, this was not ever the intention, and not reflected in the facts. The original bailout agreement marked a portion of the loaned money for any bank recapitalisations – again, this reflects the uncertainty over whether the PCAR stress tests in early 2011 would reveal further large funding needs. However, the Irish government used none of the borrowed money for bank recapitalisation, at least directly.[72] The close match between the amount of the EU/IMF loans (€67.5 billion) and the bank bailouts (€62.8 billion, but often cited as €64.5 billion) may foster this assumption.”

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “At least not directly”. Indirectly then? This isn’t very convincing and their right about it “fostering assumptions.

      • Paul Greenwood

        It was also due to offshoring by German banks and chemical companies. If you look at Depfa which was a privatised Mortgage Bank and its 2007 links up with HRE which was effectively insolvent – Depfa was heavily “involved” in Ireland.
        It was not just British banks with SIVs in Ireland but German industry and financial institutions operating off-sheet

  • Jones

    Shame on the UK, three anti-fracking protesters jailed for 16 months/16 months/& 15 months today for peaceful protest, charged with public nuisance. Absolute disgrace. (apologies for off-topic)

    • Mira

      I agree. And I have a feeling people are not concern at all! Once these companies are here we can’t get rid of them.?!

      • Jones

        Everyone should be VERY concerned indeed at the incredibly harsh and severe sentence of 16 months imprisonment for a non-violent 4 day peaceful protest, and the crystal clear message it intentionally sends out, an absolutely shameful sentence clearly political designed to protect the interests of big business.

    • John2o2o

      Thanks, I try to avoid the MSM so I didn’t know. Why are these bastards being allowed to destroy this country? Nobody wants them here. No doubt the judge is bent, his bank account filled with drillas money.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Has been for a very long time however – if you reflect on the Builders’ Blacklist and the Balfour Beatty List circulating secretly to blacklist electricians etc. – you might argue at least since 1970s it has been fascist.

    • Deb O'Nair

      These are protesters who have been spied upon by the authorities using anti-terror legislation. Sounds more like Saudi Arabia than the UK.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I have found that when you are attacked, by the most extra-ordinary powerful forces resulting in massive personal destruction, if you survive, as most of us have, it just makes you even more determined to fight back, in any way you can to get at least some of these Cunts in Jail…

    And they look at me – “Just Kill The Fucker..”.

    Nah, I won’t do would be too easy for them…

    I Believe in The Law. I still have Faith in The Law..cos we wrote it

    I will get that Cunt Yet


    Most of you have no fckin idea what is going on.

    Wake Up Sheep. We need a bit of help here.

    Please wake up, and take these neocon bastards on.

    They are not nice.


  • Alyson

    Hall of mirrors. I still haven’t got my head round who the players are, or even what game they are playing, or even whether there are any rules, or just a few canny individuals clawing through the chaos. There is the ‘debt’ to Europe that could bankrupt the UK, like Greece and Ireland, who are greatly crippled, but I have no idea where it originates, since Britain pays its dues. What was borrowed, when and by whom? And if it then becomes the exit fee, to be paid in euros, then No Deal Brexit looks like an inevitable catastrophe. Starvation, paralysis, trade impossible. But… If Brexit is happening now to protect the offshore banking enclaves, which have ‘real money’ in them, unlike the debt money that sloshes around in ever diminishing quantities for the rest of us, then is it potentially taxable after Brexit? Some people wouldn’t like that. Here is a history of banking and money. I haven’t watched it all yet as it is too dense with new information for me to fully understand.

    • Patmur

      The money which Britain is expected to pay for relates to EU programmes which it has signed up to over the last five years. It isn’t an exit fee.

    • pete

      Re Alyson at 20.34

      Thanks for supplying the link regarding off shore banking, tax evasion etc. Just watched it, I found it both informative and illuminating.

    • What's going on?

      Alyson, I have the answers, I’m just trying to deliver them to the person looking for them. I can explain all this, how can I get it to you?

    • Paul Greenwood

      There is the ‘debt’ to Europe that could bankrupt the UK,

      No there is NOT. The EU needs UK as second largest NETT Contributor to keep paying or it is in deep trouble having spending plans it cannot fund.

      • Andyoldlabour

        @Paul Greenwood,
        You are correct in what you say, but unfortunately the media and rabid remainers will never reveal the EU budget, where the few “givers” – the UK, Germany etc and the many “takers” – every single Eastern European country – are listed.
        The UK’s net contribution is at the moment just over 4000,000,000 Euros per year, whereas a country like Poland receives a net handout of 8500,000,000 Euros per year.
        The EU budget is here in black and white.

  • Patmur

    Astonishment at the bad faith and incompetence of the British Government during the negotiations goes way beyond the borders of the EU. For instance in an article on the Salzburg summit, correspondent Nick Miller of the Australian Sydney Morning Herald said in an article entitled ” “Send Help”: May’s extraordinary Brexit speech reveals her unusual tactic” pointed out what everyone in Britain seems to have forgotten. Mrs May said that staying in the single market was out of the question because “that would make a mockery of the referendum we had.” Nick Miller says “That’s debateable. Plenty of high profile Brexiters promised before the referendum that voting for Brexit didn’t mean leaving the Single Market.” Yet this has conveniently been forgotten since the referendum by both the UK media and the Tory Brexit supporters who have wanted a no-deal Brexit from the start even at the cost of a national catastrophe. And for a good reason! Because despite the fact that Theresa May didn’t seem with her Chequers Plan to have got the message, the EU can never accept Britain retaining free access to the single market whilst not adhering to the basic rules and duties. Something which Mrs May appears not to have taken seriously. In all truth there are only two options: one is remaining in the EU, the other is a no-deal Brexit. One just hopes that Jeremy Corbyn understands this.

  • tony_0pmoc

    The CIA don’t always kill, sometimes they kind of miss the complete destruction of a lovely human being, just run over her in a car and see what’s left. “You will suffer for this” In our case the “accident” was extremely traumatic, but after 2 years nursing care, from the Brilliant NHS, she has made almost a full recovery

    You American’s don’t take out a Lancashire Girl quite so easy and I know you had absolutely nothing to do with the story – the bloke who ran over my wife phoned me up then – and said I have just run over your wife – sorry)

    I don’t think The CIA would have said sorry. My son, and the polce checked him him out – we were all convinced it was just an accident. Just one of these things. She was on her way to a dance class.

    She is lovely. She is so open and receptive and shows real personal interest with whoever she meets in the world. She just opens her heart.

    Accidents do happen too. I am just amazed and delighted I am married to her, and she survived the accident. She will be back tomorrow. She’s looking after her Mum in Lancashire for a few days.

    Were are Going Rockin’ next week.

    Can’t wait.


    • What's going on?

      Thanks Tony, enjoy the ‘rockin’. I love your posts, but we must talk sometime, I have important information and nobody is listening!

    • Paul Greenwood

      Plenty of high profile Brexiters promised before the referendum that voting for Brexit didn’t mean leaving the Single Market.

      Until May’s speech at Lancaster House on 17 Jan 2017 when SHE made the policy to leave the CU and SM.

      Quite why she did so unilaterally is a question to be answered !

  • David Webb

    Mr Murray, your Skripal stuff is brilliant, your intervention less so – or even openly anti-British. The EU has no right to feel angry at British “bad faith”. What you mean is that they sprang an absurd agreement on her last year to trap Mrs May, and they thought they had her cornered, and she may simply resile on the agreement and exit their trap. What right do they have to propose arrangements that are different in NI? The blame is entirely theirs. You say Mrs May cannot now use “unionist fundamentalism” as she is already signed up to the backstop – but it was not her place to sign up to such a backstop. British ambassadors in EU countries should stop plugging their own personal agendas and simply promote whatever view they are told to. When it comes to bad faith, the EU states take the biscuit – their negotiation has all been in bad faith. If you can’t see that, maybe that’s why you’re no longer a British diplomat. You don’t get to work for foreign interests as a British diplomat. At least you’re not supposed to.

    • Garth Carthy

      I disagree. The EU has rightly become sick and tired of May and the inadequate Tory people who are supposedly negotiating Brexit.

      The fact is that we – the UK – voted to leave – horribly mistaken – but we voted to leave and so the onus is totally on the UK to get on with Brexit or have a second referendum: It is NOT for the UK to dictate terms…

      • Paul Greenwood

        Sorry but this “second referendum”……will it be “binding” on Parliament ? Will it transfer sovereignty to the Voters and away from Westminster ? What will it resolve ?

        Will it be Clause by Clause of a Withdrawal Agreement with say 100 questions and a scoring chart ? will Parliament go through the whole Bill and put it through both Houses ? Will it be binding on EU27 ?

        Will it be necessary to hold a fresh General Election as in 2017 after the 2016 Referendum ?

        It is clear there is as little awareness about the process and procedures in the general population as among politicians who in this one respect are fully representative of mainstream ignorance of the Eu and the procedural matters in the British Constitution

    • Paul Greenwood

      What right do they have to propose arrangements that are different in NI?

      NONE at all. They do however require an External Border to the EU Single Market to ring-fence The Customs Union.

      With a hard border the transport of livestock from North to South will cease and so will supply of electricity from South to North

    • John A

      The EU said from the very start that the integrity of the single market was paramount. Which means checks at EU borders to ensure conformity of incoming goods to EU rules and standards.
      Britain no longer wants to abide by EU rules and standards and therefore the EU will need to check conformity of any goods being imported from Britain. As NI is part of UK and soon to be non EU, any goods passing from NI to republic ie the EU border would have to be checked for conformity. There a hard border with customs controls. The alternative, easier option would be to make the Irish Sea the border check point ie. at the ports of entry.
      The EU has been clear about this from the start. Teresa May was not ambushed, she is simply either totally deluded, totally stupid or a total liar. Probably all three, if truth be told.

    • John2o2o

      Is that supposed to be funny? The USSR was a country that broke up. Correct me if I am wrong, but it took several years and bankrupted Russia.

      The EU is not a country. Sorry, I know I probably have to say this again. The EU is not a country. Got it?

        • Paul Greenwood

          USSR was a Federation and had two votes at UN but only one on Security Council. The lawful successor state to the USSR is The Russian Federation. I should have though the concept of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics would be say for those living in a Union with a Union flag to comprehend

    • What's going on?

      It isn’t, all that was needed was to look at the issues and follow the Flexcit plan:

      Instead, May was installed into place and Nick Timothy (aka Rasputin) advised her to trigger art. 50 call a GE and try to break up the EU and emerge triumphant. If May had an ounce of sense she would have sacked him, taken a day off to research the matter and realised the way forward. Unfortunately since she is an incompetent moron, she fell for the Timothy spiel hook, line and sinker.

      The rest is history…

    • Paul Greenwood

      USSR collapsed when Boris Yeltsin removed RFSSR from USSR much as Croatia left the Yugoslav Federation and precipitated the crisis between Serbia and Bosnia once the equilibrium was lost between Serb and Croat.

      England could exit The United Kingdom perhaps and erect borders to Scotland and Wales. Yeltsin did however collapse GDP by 60% in his disastrous policies

  • Sharp Ears

    This is what another dangerous clown in Theresa’s coterie has been up today. It’s comical.

    Williamson two-step: UK minister tweets & deletes congrats on ‘Salisbury suspect revealed’
    26 Sep 2018 | 21:05 GMT

    UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson triumphantly tweeted thanks to Bellingcat for supposedly identifying one of the Sergei Skripal poisoning suspects as a Russian colonel. Then he deleted it. Why?

    “The true identity of one of the Salisbury suspects has been revealed to be a Russian Colonel. I want to thank all the people who are working so tirelessly on this case,” Williamson tweeted on Wednesday evening.

    The post was removed after 20 minutes and using Twitter’s web client, according to Politwoops, a UK-based service tracking tweets deleted by members of Parliament and other political figures. Williamson has not explained why he deleted the tweet.


    • Andyoldlabour

      @Sharp Ears,
      This misinformation was being directly quoted on the BBC “news” this morning, and they credited the Bellingcat group as the source.
      How many people in the UK realise that the Bellingcat group is one man – Eliot Higgins, AKA Brown Moses – an unemployed former charity worker, who uses social media as his information source?
      What has this sad country become?

      • Sharp Ears

        Sky News are still carrying it, quoting a Bellingcat ‘reporter’ one Moritz someone, not mentioned in this report which includes the standard compulsory photo of President Putin.

        Anatoliy Chepiga: Who is the ‘hero’ Russian colonel suspected of the Salisbury attack?
        An investigative website confirms one of the Salisbury attack suspects, “Ruslan Boshirov”, is a GRU military intelligence officer.


        • Andyoldlabour

          @Sharp Ears,

          From the article – “It has now emerged that he fought for a feared special forces Spetsnaz unit – which is under the command of the GRU – for 17 years, and worked for at least nine.”

          So, he is 39 years old and his work and fighting total 26 years, which means he started aged 13 – he must be absolutely knackered by now.

  • What's going on?

    This whole Brexit debacle is a con IMO.

    The EU is preparing for a treaty change and the new plans are going to be announced at a summit in Sibiu, Romania next May. This has been on the cards before 2016 and therefore before ‘leave’ won the referendum. However, since leave won the UK hasn’t officially been a party to discussions on how the future of the EU will look.

    Had Cameron not offered a referendum in the 2015 Tory manifesto we would still have to have a referendum next year on the new treaty as in 2011 the European Union Act came in that required there to be a referendum if there was to be a new EU treaty. Therefore we can reasonably suppose that the UK would have voted against the new treaty.

    Instead we have followed a different path and had a referendum before we needed to and after a campaign involving two sides that both seemed to want to lose and with campaigns on both sides run by a small clique of people who all know each other, we are in a position where we are discovering what it means to have absolutely no arrangements in place with the EU. (Whereas eurosceptics used to want the trading part of the EU – also known as the EEA – without the political union (the EU full and proper).)

    Once the eurosceptic bubble has been burst by this charade, this vanity fair that is the Brexit mess created by May and her incompment, we will be able to move forward and become part of the ‘new’ and ‘reformed’ EU unveiled in Sibiu. The indications are that it will be a tiered EU of concentric circles with the eurozone in the centre and ‘associate members’ in an outer ring. the question remains, are we to end up in a middle ring, as a mere associate or is this all a psy-op to get us into the eurozone?

    • Dave Lawton

      You mean the whole EU is Fraud as Gordon C. Tether pointed out in the 1980`s when he worked for the FT and was sacked after ten years as editor of the FT`s Lombard Column for saying so.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “…or is this all a psy-op to get us into the eurozone?”

      I have often pondered that Brexit could be a massive charade being played out to get the pound scrapped. Along the lines of;
      Problem: UK voters would never agree to accept the Euro.
      Reaction: UK leaves the EU* and the UK economy gets trashed.
      Solution: UK rejoins the EU and accepts the Euro.

      * echoes of how Brexit came to be;
      Problem: UK voters would never agree to leave the EU.
      Reaction: Cut public services, scrap border controls and blame resulting problems on EU migrants.
      Solution: UK leaves the EU.

      • Dave

        Both labour and conservative had promised to hold a referendum on joining the Euro-currency, due to influence of Sir James Goldsmith’s (Euro) Referendum Party and I’m sure a result for Remain would have been used to trump and ignore the earlier promise.

    • Paul Greenwood

      I doubt there is any EU Treaty change ahead. it would require referenda in at least 3 EU countries and in others Sweden has just lost its PM; Italy is highly volatile; Hungary is in high dudgeon; Poland is in high dudgeon; Czech Republic is unhappy; Germany will be having fresh elections soon as Merkel disintegrates;

      You have a febrile imagination. US is raising interest rates and EU dare not because it will destroy the banks and raise government interest costs…….and it is election year 2019 with Steve Bannon and the US Ambassador in Berlin Grennell busy nurturing Eurosceptic Parties across the EU27.

  • Deb O'Nair

    The UK is in a no win situation with NI. At the next election there will be a whole new generation of voters who never experienced the full effects of sectarian strife and they will be voting less for unionist/republican and more for progressive/conservative. Sinn Fein are now the progressives in NI politics, they more accurately reflect the views and attitudes of the majority. The unionists are not only seen as politically backward but also corrupt, as evidenced by the conduct of Arlene Foster and Ian Paisley jr. Whatever Brexit arrangements are made in London NI will suffer economically, as will the entire UK, and this will further strengthen the majority NI pro-EU view, again to Sinn Fein’s advantage. Also, shortly before the December UK/EU Joint Report on NI Gerry Adams stepped down from Sinn Fein, again strengthening Sinn Fein’s position as a mainstream political party and making it more politically acceptable to many voters.

    The only thing left for the UKG to do is scrap the Good Friday Agreement, which allows a reunification referendum if a majority of the assembly is Sinn Fein. A few months after Adams stepped down his house was fire bombed, and some retaliatory attacks occurred in unionist area by some previously unknown outfit called “The New IRA”. This coincided with a large article in the Observer which stated that the Good Friday agreement had not bought any benefits to NI. It appeared to be a classic example of trouble making. I have no doubt that the UKG would rather re-ignite sectarian strife than allow the course of democracy to run in NI.

    • Paul Greenwood

      There is no N Ireland politics since Stormont is idle.

      It is always lovely to read such one-sided posts as you have concocted. Now you have stated your normative viewpoint we can file it away

  • gareth

    Craig: ” But leaving the customs union appears to me a ridiculous act of self harm.”

    Info: only an EU member state can be in the EU Customs Union. Leaving the EU means leaving “the customs union”

    NB: Leaving the EU does not necessarily mean leaving the Single Market (Norway & Iceland are EFTA, not EU states but are trade in the single market). And it would be possible to negotiate a new, different custom union, but it would not be the EU one (e.g. Turkey)

    It is impossible to have an informed debate with so much wrong information about. If you want well researched facts you could start at Richard North’s EUReferendum blog.

  • flatulence'

    Miss read the title as May’s bad breath. Don’t know how, doesn’t even look similar. Gave me a half smile realising my mistake. Made me laugh though as I kept making the same mistake throughout the article. “May’s rank bad breath” haha. Late onset childish dyslexia. I like it.

  • Sharp Ears

    Breaking news. Big problems with the Tory app which was created by Crowd Communications for the conference.
    Access to all info on MPs, ministers, local govt Tories etc. .
    eg Gove’s photo has been replaced by one of Rupert Murdoch and so on.

    Senior Tory MPs’ phone numbers exposed in Conservative Conference app flaw
    The Conservative Conference app allowed anyone to see the emails and numbers of attendees and to change their photos and details.

    Blue faces turn red

1 2

Comments are closed.