Saturday, 4 February 2017

CAPX: Theresa May needs to declare her love for Europe

CAPX: Theresa May needs to declare her love for Europe

by Tim Montgomerie

"How could Mrs May make such a generous speech about the United States, honouring its history, its values and its global role, only six days after Mr Trump swore the presidential oath – when a whole 206 days after she became our second female prime minister, and 226 days after the Brexit vote, she still hasn’t made any equivalent gesture to the peoples of Europe?

After all, our negotiations with Europe are much more important to us, at least in the shortish term, than likely trade negotiations with Washington.

I’m fully aware that Mrs May visited Angela Merkel, François Hollande and other major EU leaders very soon after entering 10 Downing Street. But important talks with heads of government don’t begin to address a far too common perception on the continent that the vote to leave the EU’s dysfunctional and disabling structures was another iteration of that infamous two-fingered Up Yours Delors gesture.

If a good number of my German friends are representative of Europeans as a whole, there are a lot of bruised feelings across the continent. There is also the suspicion that the John Cleese-style bad manners exhibited by Nigel Farage in the European Parliament, and seen in tabloid form across some of our newspapers, are a key reason why 52 per cent of us voted to leave the European Union."

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