LIKE a particularly unpleasant smell, it appears Philip Hammond is intent on hanging around.
Yes, the human sleeping pill is back, continuing the work that so endeared him to the country during the three years he spent in the Treasury: undermining our negotiations in Brussels, attaching ludicrous conditions to the 2016 Referendum and talking the country down.
A nation yesterday sighed in unison as he mounted another assault on the possibility of Britain leaving the EU with a clean break. Plague and pestilence, imminent recession, everything short of
the apocalypse itself. He morphs ever more into a 21st century Grim Reaper with every passing day.
The former Chancellor’s failure to prepare for No Deal in the Treasury is, more than anything else, the very reason that we’re still stuck in Brexit limbo.
Brussels knew that with him holding the country’s financial levers, there was no way we’d be ready to leave with a clean break. So they pushed, and pushed, and pushed Theresa May until she was forced to accept a terrible deal and the hated backstop.
For those who think our judgment harsh, we are confident that history will be even punchier.
And now, with a Government that actually believes Britain can prosper outside the EU, he’s back to blow up another attempt at negotiations.
Brussels will be watching his Eeyore act and calculating that Parliament will be able to stop No Deal. The odious toad of a Speaker John Bercow is sure to help out, as he confirmed yesterday.
The Eurocrats will gamble they don’t need to renegotiate the deal, and British Remainers — like the former Chancellor — will push for the Second Referendum they’ve wanted from the off.
It takes some political skill to sabotage two different Governments in the space of a couple of years, but Hammond seems keen to see if he can manage it. If he’s successful this time, he risks a historic constitutional crisis and Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
The sooner he moves on from public life the better.
WE trust the Remainers who cheered the UK’s negative growth figures last week will be equally thrilled that Germany appears headed to recession. No? Hmm.
The news comes as Irish consumer confidence has fallen to the lowest level in years. We take no glee in any of this.
most read in opinion
We do, though, point out that there is far more going on in the global economy than Brexit. With trade slowing, economies across the world are being hit.
The answer isn’t wild over-reactions to the latest data.
It’s getting the engines of free trade and the free market firing again.
- GOT a news story? RING us on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL email@example.com