The departure of Amber Rudd from Mrs May’s cabinet will not cause any tears to be shed among Brexit supporters. Her brother, Roland Rudd, was chairman of the europhile Business for New Europe and she campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum. Although publicly committed to supporting Theresa May’s commitment to leave the EU, in a meeting with journalists last week, she appeared to be ambivalent about the Customs Union although she later stated that she supported the government’s policy. Leaked papers also suggested that she supported unrestricted access for skilled EU27 migrants to the UK after Brexit, ignoring the wishes of many leave voters who wanted to leave the EU precisely so immigration could be drastically reduced.
He successor, Sajid Javid, is believed by those in the know to have voted remain only out of loyalty to David Cameron and George Osborne, especially as a few months before the vote he said his “heart” was for Brexit. After the result, he said: “We’re all Brexiteers now” and has been unequivocal in his support of leaving the EU ever since. He cannot but be an improvement on Amber Rudd.
This website has rarely had a good word for David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, in recent months, but we fully support his call for Theresa May to sack her Brexit advisor, Olly Robbins. Davis feels he is being sidelined by Robbins, a civil servant and a notorious europhile. Davis’ calls were met with indignation from a number of quarters. A fellow-senior civil servant, Sir Jeremy Haywood, indignantly tweeted that “The Civil Service will always be true to its values – honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity.” Is this fair, however? Since the departure of Nick Timothy, Mrs May’s special advisor who, for all his bungling of last year’s General Election, was at least a convinced leaver, the Prime Minister’s Brexit policy has gone from bad to worse, especially since Robbins has become her EU advisor. Furthermore, there is nothing “honest” about advocating any sort of customs union. As we have pointed out umpteen times, it does not solve any trade-related problems. The bleating of remoaner MPs that the referendum said nothing about leaving the customs union is irelevant – no one said anything about it because staying in it is such a daft idea that it was not worthy of discussion. I took part in over 20 debates and rallies and not once did the subject come up.
With local elections coming up this Thursday, if the Conservatives perform badly – as they could well do, particularly in London – a scapegoat will be required by MPs. The Tories picked up a lot of votes at last year’s General Election because of Mrs May’s promises on Brexit. Although in theory, Brexit is irrelevant as far as local elections are concerned, in practice, people often use local elections to protest about national issues and the inept handling of Brexit is likely to top the list of reason for dissatisfaction with the Tories. There could therefore be no better head to roll than that of Mr Robbins.