- Darren Staples / Reuters
- Dominic Cummings says the Brexit process is a “train wreck” which may be beyond saving.
- Cummings – who directed the Vote Leave campaign – claims Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond are trying to keep Britain in the European Union in everything but name.
- The government is wasting time with “logically, legally and practically incompatible” promises, he says.
- Cummings tells Conservative MPs and donors to get rid of May in order to save Brexit and keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Downing Street.
LONDON – The man who directed the official campaign to leave the European Union has described Brexit as a “train wreck” and suggested that Theresa May’s government now “effectively has no credible policy and the whole world knows it.”
In an open letter addressed to Conservative MPs and donors of the Tory party, Dominic Cummings takes an axe to the government’s Brexit strategy, claiming that May’s decision to trigger Article 50 without a clear plan was like “putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger.”
He claims that the government’s plan is to keep Britain in the EU in all but name, pointing out that preparations for life outside of the single market and customs union have not begun – such as facilities for border checks at Dover, for example.
“The government’s nominal policy, which it put in its manifesto and has repeated many times, is to leave the Single Market and Customs Union and the jurisdiction of the ECJ,” Cummings writes.
“This requires preparing to be a ‘third country’ for the purposes of EU law. It requires building all the infrastructure and facilities that are normal around the world to manage trade.
“This process should have started BEFORE triggering A50 but the government has irretrievably botched this. Having botched it, it could have partially recovered its blunder by starting to do it afterwards.”
He adds: “No such action has been taken. Downing Street, the Treasury, the Cabinet Office and the Cabinet have made no such preparations and there is no intention of starting.”
The government’s promise to maintain frictionless trade between Britain and the EU is “logically, legally and practically incompatible” with being outside the single market and customs union, he argues.
Referring to the recent Cabinet debate over “max-fac” versus the customs partnership, Cumming says: “It doesn’t matter which version of delusion your gangs finally agree on if none of them has a basis in reality and so long as May/Hammond continue they will have no basis in reality.”
Cummings: May must go
Cummings – who is widely regarded as an influential but contentious figure in the campaign for Brexit – says the negotiation has been “irretrievably botched” and will only be saved by the removal of May as prime minister.
He warns Conservative MPs that the party will be thrown out of power and replaced by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour if May continues to lead Britain.
Cummings accuses May of numerous errors: handing over billions of pounds to the EU but getting nothing in return; taking no action against high-levels of unskilled immigration; persecuting high skilled migrants who the public want in Britain; and failing to deliver the Brexit promise of giving more money to the NHS.
“There are things you can do to mitigate the train wreck,” he argues.
“For example, it requires using the period summer 2019 to autumn 2021 to change the political landscape, which is incompatible with the continuation of the May-Hammond brand of stagnation punctuated by rubbish crisis management.
“If you go into the 2022 campaign after five years of this and the contest is Tory promises versus Corbyn promises, you will be maximising the odds of Corbyn as prime minister.”
Earlier this month, leading pro-Brexit Member of European Parliament, Daniel Hannan, admitted that Brexit was “not working out” and urged May to pursue a close relationship with the EU to protect Britain’s economy.