Desperate times call for dubious historic comparisons from Theresa May
Perhaps somebody in Number 10 should read the 2005 Tory manifesto.
As Theresa May makes yet another desperate plea for MPs to support her Brexit deal, her team in Number 10 appear to have resorted to making dodgy historic comparisons in a bid to get her over the line.
In her speech in Stoke today, the prime minister was due to reheat her old argument about a vote on the terms of Brexit somehow being a betrayal of voters – but with an extra bit about the Welsh assembly vote.
“When the people of Wales voted by a margin of 0.3%, on a turnout of just over 50%, to endorse the creation of the Welsh assembly, that result was accepted by both sides and the popular legitimacy of that institution has never seriously been questioned.
“Parliament understood this fact when it voted overwhelmingly to trigger article 50. And both major parties did so too when they stood on election manifestos in 2017 that pledged to honour the result of the referendum.”
Actually the 2005 Tory manifesto pledged to “give the Welsh people a referendum on whether to keep the Assembly in its current form, increase its powers or abolish it”.
And Parliamentary records show that back in December 1999 May voted against the creation of the Assembly (aka an institution whose legitimacy has never seriously been questioned) when she opposed the second reading of the government of Wales bill. As did Crispin Blunt, Graham Brady, Bill Cash, Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Fabriant, Liam Fox, William Hague, Bernard Jenkin, Owen Paterson, John Redwood, Desmond Swayne and John Whittingdale...
Can anyone guess what all of those lot have in common?
In the end, the prime minister wisely opted for a few tweaks to the Welsh passage when she spoke today…