British Prime Minister has given a speech to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual conference standing by her so-called ‘Brexit in name only’ (Brino) plan, but the speech and audience have been criticised as supporting turning Britain into a “vassal state of the EU”.
Theresa May addressed the CBI, a body which has long supported Britain’s membership of the European Union and has been called upon to back up the Prime Minister’s softest-Brexit plan on Monday, with her saying the people of Britain should listen to big business and not members of Parliament when deciding whether to back her plan.
The Prime Minister doubled down in face of intense criticism and opposition from her own benches and said: “let no one be in any doubt, I am determined to deliver”.
Raab: May Has Allowed UK to Be ‘Bullied and Blackmailed’ by Brussels, Brexit Deal ‘Fatally Flawed’ https://t.co/whaj6QR4dk
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 18, 2018
Her speech at the conference, declaring her success in delivering the Brexit that the people of Britain voted for in the 2016 referendum — despite prominent Brexiteers and pro-Brexit groups lining up to point out that it severely betrays both the principles of Brexit and her own red lines — is one of the series of carefully stage-managed appearances planned for the Prime Minister to sell her deal.
The PM told the CBI conference that her deal delivered on the promises of Brexit and would achieve control over borders, money, and laws, and would protect businesses in a Brexit that will see British negotiators in an “intense week of negotiations” ahead of Sunday’s summit. In a challenge to Parliament to back her plan, the PM said it was down to the House to back her deal “in the national interest” in the coming weeks.
Despite the PM’s promises that her deal would give Britain control of its borders, her speech was immediately criticised by pressure group Migration Watch, which said it totally failed to address public concern about the scale of immigration, calling it “highly unsatisfactory”.
May also talked up the Conservative record in government, praising the “striking economics success story… the jobs miracle” and the state of public finances compared to the last Labour government, and said her new agreement for a services trade deal with the EU represented a significant liberalisation that goes “well beyond” World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
But the support of the CBI for Theresa May’s deal — illustrated in part as it was taken for granted in a leaked document written weeks before the content and form of May’s deal was even known — is proof that the deal is a bad one, critics say. In a statement seen by Breitbart London Monday, UKIP leader Gerrard Batten said of the speech and the CBI’s track record on the European Union:
“The CBI endorsing the government’s Brexit plan is the rotten cherry on top of the poisoned cake that Mrs May has served up to the British people.
“The CBI campaigned for Britain to have price controls in the 1970s, join the ERM [Exchange Rate Mechanism] in the late 80’s, dump the pound and adopt the euro in the 90’s and backed the remain campaign in 2016. On every single major economic and political question facing the UK the CBI has been wrong – at this point, it has zero credibility.
“The CBI represents the interests of large corporations who want to drive down wages by flooding the jobs market with mass uncontrolled immigration. No wonder that the CBI endorses the plan – it will turn Britain into a vassal state of the EU and wedge the door open to continued mass, uncontrolled immigration.”
— Oliver JJ Lane (@oliver_lane) November 19, 2018
The Prime Minister was also criticised from the floor, with the second question directed to Mrs May after her speech pointing out the flaws in her Brexit deal. Taking questions from representatives from representatives of British industry, one told her: “your agreement is going to lock us into EU regulations on a permanent basis unless the EU agrees otherwise… the alternative is a rapidly growing market outside the EU, where we have huge opportunities.
“But those opportunities will be lost if you sign that agreement, and you lock us into the EU regulatory framework. The EU has made it absolutely clear that they don’t want us to be more competitive, so we can’t improve our productivity and that means we can’t improve our prosperity.
“So can I ask you to think again about the economics of the whole thing rather than listening to the petitions of the CBI, which is really the confederation of European Industry.”
The speaker’s comments were met by groans from the conference hall, while the Prime Minister taking her turn to accuse the speaker of speaking innacurately was replied to with applause by the pro-EU business body’s members.
While her speech made no allusion to the difficulties the Prime Minister faces nor the looming leadership challenge that could come before the EU summit this coming weekend, the matter was raised in questions after. Responding to BBC politics editor Laura Kuennsberg when asked why it was her Brexit deal was so unpopular her own colleagues wouldn’t back it, May said Brits shouldn’t listen to their own elected representatives, but put their faith in business leaders who opposed the Brexit vote back in 2016 instead.
On taking your political direction from big business, the PM said: “What I would say to your viewers and listeners is, don’t just listen to the politicians. Listen to what business is saying — listen to what business that is providing your jobs, and proving that income that puts food on the table for your family is saying.
“Business is saying we want a good deal with the EU, and we want a good trading relationship with the European Union.”