Note: This page was set up towards the end of 2017 after Mrs May's speech in Florence. There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then, but this page set the context for the events that unfolded in 2018.

Is Mrs May a "safe pair of hands"?

Whilst we in UKIP are naturally suspicious of Government intentions given its record of submission to the EU over the last 40 years, I have tried to devise an approach by which we may reasonably judge the direction in which Mrs May has moved the Brexit process by her speech in Florence


Accordingly I ask below what a "good" Brexit would look like from the persective of (a) the UK and (b) the EU, and then I attempt to assess which perspective is favoured by Mrs May in her speech.


What is a Successful Brexit for the UK?


Our Laws are made exclusively by UK Parliaments


Our Courts are independent of the ECJ and we are free to revoke our commitment to the ECHR


The UK is in full control of immigration and asylum policies and defence of our borders


The UK resumes full sovereignty over our maritime exclusive economic zone including our fishing rights


The UK resumes fully functioning membership of the WTO and signs up new international trading partners


The UK make no payments to the EU other than those contributions due prior to the end of our membership


EU membership ends on or before the end of 2019

Negotiations are conducted promptly in good faith


Certainty for Business (and everyone else) is achieved early on


This shouldn't need saying, but it does:

The UK must retain full and exclusive operational control over our armed forces 



What is a Successful Brexit for the EU?


The UK exit negotiations continue interminably (extending beyond the 2019 end date by mutual agreement under the provisions of Article 50)


The UK leaves in name only (better still not at all), remaining subject to the vast majority of EU membership rules & laws, financial contributions, and decisions of EU courts for as long as possible (preferably indefinitely)


We eventually end up staying in, or with Brexit-in-name-only, but in any event we stay in as long as possible so that we continue to pay in as long as possible


The UK joins the PESCO initiatives abd contributes fully to the EU's armed forces



What did Mrs May say in Florence and then in Parliament?


we want to find a creative solution to a new economic relationship that can support prosperity for all our peoples”


We do not want to settle for adopting a model enjoyed by other countries”


I am proposing a unique and ambitious economic partnership. It will reflect our unprecedented position of starting with the same rules and regulations. We will maintain our unequivocal commitment to free trade and high standards. And we will need a framework to manage where we continue to align and where we choose to differ”


The EU will seize the opportunity to spin out the negotiations for as long as possible, allowing Remainers to create endless mischief with the intention of watering down or reversing Brexit.


The potential for confusion of fact and purpose will mushroom, providing ample opportunity for maximising Parliamentary and legal shenanigans. Everyone will be denied clarity.


Viewed uncharitably, this proposal provides perfect cover for a negotiation leading to Brexit in name only.




I do not want our partners to fear that they will need to pay more or receive less over the remainder of the current budget plan as a result of our decision to leave. The UK will honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership”


We will pay £20 - £40 Billion pounds over our exit period (with luck more) – how many new NHS doctors and nurses would this train, how many new road rail and infrastructure schemes could have been funded?




a comprehensive framework for future security, law enforcement and criminal justice co-operation: a treaty between the UK and the EU” to“complement the extensive and mature bi-lateral relationships that we already have with European friends to promote our common security”


what we are offering will be unprecedented in its breadth, taking in cooperation on diplomacy, defence and security, and development” and “unprecedented in its depth, in terms of the degree of engagement that we would aim to deliver”


The United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe’s security”


Why do we need a new Treaty?


Our commitment to NATO will be subverted by our commitment of the same forces to the EU's mlitary ambitions. We will place our armed forces under the command of the EU army, navy and air force, relinquishing meaningful control while continuing to pay the costs. This is a recipe for potential chaos as both Nato and the EU will have a claim on the same national forces.


Our defence contractors will suffer as a direct result of EU control over the defence procurement process. What remains of our defence industries will likely be closed down as all our defence needs wil be met by companies favoured by the EU. 


We will bind our police and law enforcement agencies into the EU law enforcement institutions (not just the European Arrest Warrant) by international treaty. Citizens of the UK may de facto be treated identically to the citizens of the EU, (thus amongst other things permitting extended detention without trial).


See also our page on defence, which shows that government is apparently fully involved with the PESCO process.


All given away unconditionally! The door to the betrayal of Brexit is wide open.




“in the bi-lateral discussions I have had with Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Szydlo, President Tusk and the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, they welcomed the tone set in Florence and the impact this was having on moving the negotiations forwards”


We continue to dance the negotiation waltz to the EU's tune – bogged down in interminable discussions designed to extract ever more concessions from us whilst giving nothing in return.


The EU know that we could walk away and leave them to come back to us – putting us in a position of strength which any negotiator worth their salt would recognise. Unhappily Mrs May is either not a negotiator or she has no intention to negotiate seriously - or her objectives are not shared by the British people.



We believe that Mrs May has shown her hand in Florence – and it is the hand of the EU, not of the UK.

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