by Rab Bruce’s Spider

It sounds very much as if Theresa May is determined to drag the UK out of the EU with no deal. Perhaps her sound bite of “No deal is better than a bad deal" should have warned us, but there can no longer be much doubt that this has always been her intention, with the various pretences at negotiation being little more than a way of allowing her to blame the EU for the eventual outcome. Anyone who has been following events at all can see through the often ridiculous assertions of the UK Government, and it was obvious from the start that the much-vaunted Chequers agreement would never be accepted by the EU because, as usual, it attempted to cherry pick aspects of EU membership which the EU has consistently stated will not be agreed.

The really puzzling question is why May wants a No Deal scenario. All the economic forecasts, even those produced by her own Government, suggest that this will be catastrophic for the UK, so why forge ahead with little more than an appeal to patriotism as your justification?

There are several possible reasons, and none of them make any sense at all if viewed from the standpoint that the principal task of a Government is to look after the welfare of its citizens. Sorry, I meant subjects. We are subjects, not citizens. Makes you feel proud, that, doesn’t it?

But back to the reasons for a No Deal exit. Here are a few suggestions, all of them very concerning to varying extents, and all of them resulting in what could fairly be described as catastrophic for the welfare of we subjects.

The most benign interpretation of May’s bizarre actions is that she is merely incompetent and floundering out of her depth, yet so desperate to cling onto power that she is prepared to say and do anything that will prevent the hardline Brexiteers from ousting her. Those are the actions of a highly egocentric, not to say sociopathic, character, but it is probably the easiest to understand, even if it does raise the further question of why on earth she wants to cling on in office.

A second possible reason is that she genuinely wants to turn the UK into a tax haven because her multi-millionaire backers do not want the EU’s new anti-tax avoidance rules to affect their wealth. This is a genuine possibility but, like the first suggestion, has the great flaw that Brexit will severely damage the City of London finance sector. London-based banks may well be able to take advantage of lax legislation and minimal oversight to continue to run tax avoidance schemes, but the loss of international passporting rights within the EU is already causing many of these banks to move operations. So the cost of pursuing the goal of becoming a proper tax haven could well be the loss of London’s status within the international finance sector. Given that the UK doesn’t really have much else in the way of industry, that’s a severe loss.

But the most worrying possible reason for pursuing a No Deal is that Theresa May might genuinely believe in an ideological system which requires a highly authoritarian (some might say fascist) regime. Her actions as Home Secretary, where she oversaw the creation of the so-called Hostile Environment, certainly suggest that she is not averse to adopting an extreme Right Wing position.

Whether she is actually planning this, or whether she is merely aimlessly heading towards it, some people have suggested that No Deal would bring about the social chaos which would allow the UK Government to introduce emergency legislation which could see troops on the streets and the UK becoming what is usually referred to as a police state.

Now, that’s a scary thought, and one would hope that democracy would prevent it, yet we know from history that democracy can be undermined, and the past couple of years have shown us that this is exactly what is happening in the UK. Politicians can now lie with virtual impunity; electoral law can be openly flouted with little more consequence than a slap on the wrists and a relatively small fine; investigations into corruption rarely lead to prosecutions of prominent politicians; data mining and targeting of social media adverts influence election results; and, of course, the BBC continues to promote and normalise the views of UKIP and other extremists. The evidence of increased xenophobia and hate crimes is there for all to see, and this is a direct result of UK Government policy combined with a Right Wing media.

May’s continued refusal to countenance a second referendum on Brexit shows that she has little regard for public opinion. Whatever the reasons for this, none of them can have a good outcome for the vast majority of UK subjects. Sooner or later, Scots are going to have to wake up to the fact that it would be far better for them to become citizens of a normal country than to remain subjects of the UK plutocracy.