UK Ministers: Mad as Hell and Can't Take it Anymore

Mike Mish Shedlock

Boris Johnson is the latest UK minister to resign over Brexit. His letter to May explains why.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned this morning. Brexit minister David Davis resigned yesterday.

Two other understory ministers resigned leaving May's government in chaos.

Davis stated Theresa May's proposal “hands control of large swaths of our economy to the EU,” adding the negotiating approach could just lead to further demands for concessions from the EU.

Brexit Central has the full text of Boris Johnson's Resignation Letter.

Here are the key snips.

The British Government has spent decades arguing against this or that EU directive, on the grounds that it was too burdensome or ill-thought out. We are now in the ludicrous position of asserting that we must accept huge amounts of precisely such EU law, without changing an iota, because it is essential for our economic health – and when we no longer have any ability to influence these laws as they are made.

In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony – and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement. It is also clear that by surrendering control over our rulebook for goods and agrifoods (and much else besides) we will make it much more difficult to do free trade deals. And then there is the further impediment of having to argue for an impractical and undeliverable customs arrangement unlike any other in existence.

What is even more disturbing is that this is our opening bid. This is already how we see the end state for the UK – before the other side has made its counter-offer. It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them. Indeed, I was concerned, looking at Friday’s document, that there might be further concessions on immigration, or that we might end up effectively paying for access to the single market.

Theresa May is Incompetent

Boris Johnson and David Davis are correct.

Theresa May is incompetent and unwilling to do the job at hand.

Mad as Hell and Can't Take it Anymore

Johnson and Davis are mad as hell and can't take it anymore. Both quit with big shouts.

It was the correct decision.

Hard Brexit Odds Rise

For further discussion, please see Odds of Hard Brexit Increase as UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Resigns.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (13)
No. 1-13
msurkan
msurkan

Unfortunately, opinions are too evenly split for ANY UK government to successfully carry out Brexit. This is why the Prime Minister continually tries to fudge, never committing one way or the other to a specific policy. Every time the government tries to make any kind of firm policy around Brexit either the pro-Brexit or anti-Brexit Tory parliamentarians rebel and threaten to bring down the government. This mirrors the broader split across British voters.

The sad truth is that the UK is too split on the issue of Brexit to ever do it successfully.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Scotland and NI are pro-EU and increase the apparent % voting to stay. Wales, Cornwall and England voted out by a margin. Float off NI and Scotland and a leave can be achieved. May is trying to keep the UK as the UK. She's fighting a losing battle. It could just be that the UK has come to the end of it's historic road. We could really use an English National Party that includes Welsh & Cornish and dump the old parties (all of them) in the bin.

Snow_Dog
Snow_Dog

“Johnson and Davis are mad as hell and can't take it anymore. Both quit with big shouts.“

You mean they just quit? Weren’t they supposed to schedule a few rounds of meetings to discuss what quitting really means? Then, a follow up “summit” where everyone gets polled about where they stand on someone else’s resignation?

Perhaps one last binding resolution forewarning of the environmental damage that resigning is likely to cause.

Sheesh! It’s getting to where it’s no fun having layer upon layer of bureaucratic fussbudgeting anymore.

Kinuachdrach
Kinuachdrach

Msurkan is correct -- this is the real issue. With something like a 52/48 split, there is no strong constituency in the UK either for the status quo or for leaving. And then it is now very obvious that the people who wanted separation had not done their homework on how to handle many of the resulting issues -- of which the Irish border question is only the most obvious.

The enthusiasts for separation have tried to treat the Brexit vote as African democracy. (One man, one vote, one time). But the UK really is a House Divided -- which cannot stand. The better approach following the evidence of the split in the separation referendum would have been for the Brits to have had a much more serious set of internal discussions until they could agree by a large majority (80%+) that they wanted to be in or out of the EU.

But maybe none of this matters. The EU is sinking. The UK is sinking. All those governments have debts they will never repay. In or out of the EU, the Gods of the Copybook Headings will have the final say.

RonJ
RonJ

"In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony..."

What goes around, comes around. From an empire with colonies where the sun never set, to being a colony, with no control over its fate.

RobinBanks
RobinBanks

There is a sharp split in the country. Those areas that got a bailout in 2008 ie. City of London and the Scots in Edinburgh (RBS, Halifax Bank of Scotland) voted overwhelmingly to stay while the poor sods in the East Midlands and the North who see no benefit from Ponzi Scheme that is Neo-liberalism voted 70%+ to leave. Next crisis I hope that the City and Edinburgh get shafted. There's no money left to bail them out again.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

Two inescapable realities? The E.U. can set its own rules for access to its markets. The E.U. is the U.K. biggest foreign market (55% of exports to to Europe, 22% to Asia and 17% to NAM).

Square that.

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

@RobinBanks - I suspect you are right and that growing inequality drove many voters to vote "Leave" even though it was against their economic interest (these regions typically got more from European handouts than they put in, at least wrt the rest of the U.K.).

So what are your proposals for dealing with increasing inequality? Tax the rich and give to the poor?

Tengen
Tengen

Proposals for dealing with increasing inequality? His post hints at banksters multiple times, so we could stop recklessly printing money and rewarding fraud and incompetence. Of course this isn't on the agenda and at this point it's doubtful rates could ever be normalized with this debt overhang.

So really there is no solution. Sit back and enjoy the fireworks!

RobinBanks
RobinBanks

And 20% of German cars end up on British Roads. If the Europeans want to play hard ball then Mutti can deal with the unions. As for removing inequality, how about treating bankers like every other business and don't bail them out. The rich have got richer thanks to QE and low interest rates which caused asset price inflation but pensioners got shafted when their savings produced no interest. Best way to remove inequality is to normalise interest rates. The young will be able to afford a house, pensioners get some income and the City gets shafted. A win win.

Kinuachdrach
Kinuachdrach

RobinBanks: "how about treating bankers like every other business and don't bail them out".

Interesting thing is that the leaders of the UK, elected by the people of the UK, could have chosen to do that regardless of anything coming from the EU. That is to say -- Brexit is irrelevant to what Robin sees as the real problem.

In or out of the EU, the UK's big problem is the metropolitan leadership in London, who are disconnected from the people of the UK. You guys need a Trump!


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