1. We will provide certainty wherever we can
Jolly good, that’s not an actual plan for Brexit though is it. More a sort of standing aspiration of all governments since Gilgamesh got started building his wall in Sumer.
2. Leaving the European Union will mean that our laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
Well who else would make them, Donald Trump? Stop stating the bleedin’ obvious and tell us something about what you plan for Brexit!
3. A stronger Britain demands that we strengthen the precious union between the four nations of the United Kingdom.
This has nothing to do with Brexit beyond underlining the stunning insight that you don’t want the Scots to leave, why is it even on this list?
4. We will deliver a practical solution that allows the maintenance of the common travel area with the Republic of Ireland.
Right, an actual policy point, hallelujah. Only took you four gos. Oh wait hang on… it looks like the Common Travel Area isn’t actually affected by Brexit, so what you’re doing there is promising to fight for something that’d happen anyway. Erm, thanks?
5. Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe
Okay NOW we have a practical policy position, nearly halfway down the list. But it is a big one. A big, juicy, slithery can of worms that requires the end of free movement between Britain and Europe. And is largely unenforceable. And will cause a great deal of suffering for the sake of what will likely be an economic downturn to appease people’s worst tendencies. Grand.
6. We want to guarantee rights of EU citizens living in Britain & rights of British nationals in other member states, as early as we can
Ah… problem here is you can’t guarantee anything if you’re ending free movement and threatening the rights of EU nationals in Britain. So this is kind of incompatible with point five. Also “which” rights? There’s quite a lot of them, and many are ones you’d like to get rid of for British citizens as well. As a line it sounds nice, but it’s about as vague and non-committal as it’s possible to be while still expelling words from your cake hole.
7. Not only will the Government protect the rights of workers set out in European legislation, we will build on them
Again this isn’t a policy position, it’s a vague aspiration. You’ve not said what rights, or how you’ll build on them, or to what end, or for which workers. Would like to carry the trend and promise to just shower us all with happy vibes?
8. We will pursue a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the European Union
Oh good, for a moment there it looked like you were going to pursue a meek and lazy one. Just as well you clarified that you were going to be bold and ambitious, a truly unexpected … hang on a minute this is just another vaguely aspirational-sounding line with no content about something that would have to happen anyway isn’t it. Ohh you wily sod.
9. It is time for Britain to get out into the world and rediscover its role as a great, global, trading nation
Oh damn everyone, apparently we’ve not been involved in global trading before now! Quick, inform the financial, industrial and other sectors, there’s a killing to be made here! Thank goodness Theresa May’s giant brain is on this. Phew. That’s just nailed point nine in her comprehensive Brexit plan.
10. We will welcome agreement to continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research and technology initiatives.
Sort of an actual policy point stuck in here, it’s nice to see one once in a while. Not that it’s particularly surprising that the government would “welcome agreement” to continue with the agreements required to keep British technology projects even vaguely up to snuff. It’s like saying “we will welcome more nice things we like.”
11. We will continue to work closely with our European allies in foreign and defence policy even as we leave the EU itself.
What does “work closely” mean exactly? Is this code for “rely entirely upon because we don’t have much of an army or navy any more and need places to sell all our bombs to — by the way we still have nukes so we’re totes relevant to European defence policy in the 21st century?”
12. We believe a phased process of implementation will be in the interests of Britain, the EU institutions and member states
As if there’s a choice — Westminster doesn’t have the resources or expertise to do it all at once and May knows that.