While the more jingoistic part of the Fourth Estate is telling its readers how we would beat the dastardly garlic-crunching Spanish in a fight - the Mail and Sun both hooting that a Gibraltarian patrol boat had allegedly “seen off” a Spanish warship - we now know that this is mere spin and diversion: our not at all unelected Prime Minister has in the meantime been exposed as a busted flush, her Brexit pretence an empty sham.
We were told that Theresa May would get a deal with the European Union not only on the terms on which Britain would leave, but also on future trade, by the time the two-year period which was started last week had ended. Those telling that we had no chance of doing so were shouted down as “Bitter Remoaners”, who were “talking the country down”, displaying insufficient patriotism, and not to be taken seriously.
And we were told a pack of lies. Trade deals of the kind we would need with the rest of the EU do not get completed in less than two years. Moreover, there is no chance that our business community would stand back and let Ms May get away with merely walking away without a deal - which was part of her fall-back game plan.
Faisal Islam at Sky News, who was the first to coax the admission from the PM, has written “It is that outline of a future arrangement which will be done in two years, not a signed deal … It raises the possibility that a deal will not have been signed before the next General Election [ie by 2020]”. And this meant what, exactly?
That is where it gets decidedly sticky: “This is important because it confirms UK acceptance of the final deal being negotiated under Article 218 of the EU Treaty, which means the entire EU27, including Spain and the regional Belgian parliaments such as Wallonia, will have a veto on the final deal”. And that’s before talking Gibraltar.
Then, for all those who voted Leave in the belief that it would put a stop to all those people who talk foreign coming to the UK, the BBC’s John Pienaar had more bad news: “One key change, Mrs May said, would be that borders and immigration policy would be under British control … That clearly left open the possibility of free movement continuing, at least temporarily … Suggestions of a sharp cut in EU migration after Brexit has given way to caveats and qualification”. All of which begs one question.
No thanks, I don't want to look over there
With Sterling having fallen precipitously after the referendum result, businesses looking to up sticks and move at least their headquarters out of Britain, the benefits of free trade deals that the EU brought us at serious risk (Ms May was in Jordan this week, which has such a deal with the EU), and any goodwill we enjoyed in Brussels swiftly evaporating (helped by another outburst of bigotry today from Nigel “Thirsty” Farage) - what on earth are we doing still rushing headlong into the EU departure lounge?
No wonder the Mail and Sun are swaggering about patrol boats off Gibraltar - their heroine has been tested and found wanting. Before they know it, all those readers will begin to realise that they were sold a pup. And all of us will be well and truly screwed.