Bernard Ingham: A Christmas message to the Utterly Stupid Party over Brexit

RECOGNISING that casting my pearls before the Westminster swine has seldom done much good, I still feel impelled in this season of goodwill to write this festive open letter to Tory '¨MPs:

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker at last week's EU summit.
Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker at last week's EU summit.

Dear Members of the Utterly Stupid Party,

I shall speak plainly.

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Only the 200 of you who voted for Theresa May in your confidence vote show long overdue signs of common sense.

It seems that the majority of you wish to remain in the EU.

This is explicable only if you consider your loyalty to the EU comes before that of your native land.

In times past that would have been considered treasonable.

Thank your lucky stars you live in more enlightened days.

I might be more impressed with your Europhilia if you ever explained why we ought to remain in the EU.

Instead, all you do is mount successive Project Fears about leaving.

If for one moment you could discard your rose-tinted specs and see the world as it is, you would realise that the EU is in danger of falling apart by seeking to impose a federal state upon its 28 members.

How on earth any MP can be a Europhile when it renders the Westminster Parliament – and our democracy – subservient to Brussels is beyond me.

As for the implacable Brexiteers, I understand you better.

Faced with a party with a majority of Remainers, you fear that the UK and the 17.4m people who voted to leave the EU will be sold down the river.

Some say we already have been.

But I find it difficult to understand
who could have done better than Theresa May when faced with a split party, a fractured and unprincipled Opposition and a vindictive EU fearing it can only
hold its corrupt and bureaucratic
empire together by taking a rise out of the UK.

I am not arguing that the Prime Minister has performed brilliantly in the negotiations, starting with her losing her Government’s majority in an election.

But in her dogged, persistent and almost masochistic way she has retained the moral high ground and come up with the basis for a settlement.

It is by no means perfect, but those
who argue that she could have achieved more by demanding more seem to be infected with the Donald Trump Syndrome which has you asking for the moon and then tweeting your demands in objectionable terms at regular intervals.

It may well be that Mrs May did
not ask for enough and is too good for 
this world.

You may feel she has not been Machiavellian enough when the EU has the confounded arrogance to try to break up the UK with its pettifogging approach to the Irish border.

Moreover, it has always been
cavalier in its observance of its own

As Margaret Thatcher put it, they see the law as something to be observed sometime whereas the UK regards
it as an obligation to be immediately observed.

Unless you are congenitally stupid you must be straining to get off the EU leash. But what then?

Well, I have a cunning plan for when we put Brussels and its works behind us and recover our sovereignty.

What hold will the EU have on us then, apart from some legal mumbo jumbo about Northern Ireland and trading requirements?

And which court could hold us to account for them since we would be no longer subject to the entirely biased Euro-Court?

Consequently, I invite you – if your prejudices will allow it – to consider a novel post-departure strategy.

It is based on our reputation as Perfidious Albion.

What is the point of having a reputation if you do not live up to it?

I am indebted to my brother, a retired Yorkshire farmer, for clothing these thoughts in action.

He thinks we should tell the EU that if they interfere with our national interest, they will find Perfidious Albion lives slowly up to its obligations.

More specifically, they will get their £39bn divorce settlement at the rate of 10 bob a week (50p).

That should smarten up their ideas.

My embellishment of the plan is to print a new 10 bob (50p) note, make it legal tender – and therefore prized – with the faces of the Duke of Wellington and Winston Churchill as well as the Queen upon it.

You may say this would add insult to injury.

But it would bring widespread admiration in England at least for Mrs May and her party. That is unless you persist in being utterly stupid.