Owen Paterson makes a bid to weaponise the English language for Brexit

Written by David Singleton on 12 December 2018 in Diary

The hardcore Brexiteer had a curious passage in his letter to Graham Brady.

This week Owen Paterson became the first former Cabinet minister to call for a vote of no confidence in Theresa May.

In his letter published in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, the ex-environment secretary railed against "more than two years of poor Government decision-making" on Brexit.

According to Paterson there have been various serious mistakes made by the Number 10 team. In particlar it was "a mistake to treat Brexit miserably as a problem to be solved rather than an exciting opportunity to be grasped".




So how exactly should the prime minister have behaved differently?

In one intriguing passage, Paterson seems to suggest that perhaps we could have got a better deal from the EU if May had made more of the fact that the English language was first spoken in early medieval England before eventually becoming a global lingua franca:

"The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy. We are a key Nato member, a permanent UN Security Council member, a Commonwealth realm, a nuclear power.

"We are the source of the English language, the common law and occupy the ideal time-zone for global trade. Yet from the outset we have approached these negotiations as a feeble and unworthy supplicant."

The morning after giving his letter to The Telegraph, Paterson popped up on the Today programme to explain what he was on about. Alas, Labour MP Lucy Powell was unimpressed, accusing Powell of living in “absolute fantasy land”.

Whatever could she mean?





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