THE BLOG

Theresa May's Attack On The EU Is Not A Stable Or Strong Thing For A Prime Minister To Do

03/05/2017 19:48 BST | Updated 03/05/2017 20:31 BST
Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Accusing the EU of trying to affect our election result isn't a very stable thing for a British Prime Minister to do. Nor is ramping up the rhetoric to make false enemies of foreign nations just because it's election time. And it certainly isn't strong.

As Rafael Behr noted today, Theresa May's attack on the EU from the steps of Downing Street is paranoid if she believes it and cynically short termist if she doesn't. The idea that the EU could try or succeed to influence our election result is a joke. No one here would fall for it, and frankly anything the EU tried would be counter productive anyway. If anything, the behaviour of EU officials in the last week or so is a political gift to the Prime Minister in the middle of an election campaign. And Theresa May has seized on it to pursue the short term interests of the Tory party rather than the long term interests of the country Both sides should get a grip and calm down. There is too much at stake for anyone to play games.

Instead of calmly and confidently dealing with the EU's opening gambit from a position of strength, the Prime Minister is whipping up hostility on all sides with no real plan behind it. She's all hot air without any serious substance to deliver. The result is that she is weakening the country's position for when the real negotiations start. And she is increasing the chance of getting no sustainable deal at all - putting jobs and livelihoods at risk.

Too often that is what happens with this Prime Minister. Her desperate rush to visit Donald Trump wasn't strong it was weak. Her threat to withdraw security and terrorism cooperation from Europe if she doesn't get the deal she wants wasn't stable it was foolish - for our national security as well as their's.

Too often there is a gap between Theresa May's rhetoric and the reality. She claimed Parliament was blocking Brexit when in fact three quarters of MPs voted for Article 50. She's spent years making grand promises on immigration without ever any plan to deliver them - making public anxiety worse as a result. She spent months attacking the European Arrest Warrant only to opt out of it then opt straight back in. She claims she is protecting school budgets when in fact they are being cut. She says she's helping low income working families, when the IFS confirms they are losing over £2,000 a year each in the next few years.

Theresa May has used her election campaign slogan to death already. Why? Because words are all she has. No vision for the country she wants Britain to be. Headline grabbing but no serious plan for Brexit negotiations. No proud record to defend on standing up for working people.

Like her predecessor, she is thinking about the short term headlines, and the short term interests of the Tory party, at the expense of the long term future of Britain.

This blog and headline was amended on Wednesday 3 May to include the reference to Rafael Behr's comments.