Theresa May refuses to confront the truths of Brexit: Mirror Politics morning briefing

Incredible By Garry Polmateer |

Theresa May arrives back from New York this morning and will head straight to a Cabinet meeting on her Florence speech.

Supposedly, this will be an opportunity for the Cabinet to agree a collective line on Brexit.

It is extraordinary that six months after triggering Article 50 and three months since the negotiations with the EU began in earnest there is no settled opinion within Government on the final outcome.

The speech in Florence tomorrow is an opportunity for Mrs May to reshape the debate around Brexit but few expect her to seize this chance.

Balancing the competing demands around the Cabinet table and internal Tory Party management have always taken precedence over the national interest.

Above all, Mrs May has failed to be candid with voters about Brexit .

As a Remainer who accepted without question the referendum result she was in a position to deliver Brexit without having to disguise the realities of leaving.

She could have explained the complexities and consequences of the process and how it would require compromise and some sacrifices.

Instead she perpetuated the worst aspects of the referendum campaign by offering up a bombastic Brexit that refuses to recognise any of the downsides and is underpinned by petty nationalism.

If you offer an unconvincing prospectus don’t be surprised if you fail to convince.

It is a dispiriting tribute to British intransigence that we have failed to reform the House of Lords.

There was some progress under Tony Blair but it remains un-elected and still contains a sizeable number of hereditary peers .

Incidentally, anyone who believes hereditaries should keep their place should read Chris Bryant’s book, Entitled, on the history of the aristocracy which details how the lords gained their titles through the bloodaxe, extortion and bribery.

Today’s report by the Electoral Reform Society should be the final nail in this bloated and anachronistic institution.

It reveals how hundreds of peers are clocking on for their £300 a day allowance, plus travel expenses, but are barely bothering to take part in debates.

This is not to deny there are some peers who take their responsibilities seriously and are a credit to Parliament.

But it is ridiculous they are unaccountable to any voter and are there solely because of the power of patronage or birthright.

It is also indefensible that there remain places for Church of England bishops but none for Catholic ones, Rabbis or imams.

We cheer the Lords when then fulfil their function of scrutinising the executive but it would be better if we could cheer them in the knowledge they had been elected.

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