Always the most politically charged Christmas Reception to wind down the year by the Foreign Office among a host of world Ambassadors, Peers and Ministers, Journalists and Diplomats. The Nepalese Ambassador revealed that London has the highest number of diplomats at some 20,000. This year has gone ultra-fast and Jeremy Hunt the Foreign Secretary gave a short speech, joking how the Foreign Office sometimes mixes up the Chinese with the Japanese – refer his earlier trip to China – and finishing off with a brief mention of Brexit.
The Brexit Deal won by what I think is our ‘virtuous’ PM Theresa May against a hardened EU, if MP’s could unite in the interests of the country rather than power politicking, the public I am sure would breathe a sigh of relief and just get on with the smooth transitions in business and a control on peoples movement, which was the central issue of the Referendum – the rest of the ‘detail’ will be overcome by the British resilience and innovation. Certainly the dissenting Conservative party MP’s have offered nothing constructive nor helped to appease the hardened EU negotiators but are quick to ‘shoot the messenger’ to the point of disrespecting democracy itself.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has, however, finally decided to respect democracy – the PM’s confidence vote – for the moment, though seems only due to the Jeremy Corbyn threat, but even the mention of his name at this illustrious Reception drew disMayed laughter’s. One eminent journalist even quipped of him turning into a pantomime character. A Brexit Panto, that’s exactly what we need and if there is a script writer to match Jacob Rees-Mogg’s excellent command of languages I run a theatre in Leicester and would be happy to showcase it. I’ve even heard that he has already registered his own ‘City’ business in Dublin, the EU? If true the Panto would have a lot of good material. Anyhow let’s hope this Christmas the gods grace his over active intellect with the wisdom it deserves.
Theresa May’s Deal could be more akin to the Turkish model where Turkey is non-EU but has a customs partnership, though Turkey has other political restrictions which it seems to me May has brilliantly won compromises on to protect jobs and security but to my simple logic all this talk of Norway style or Canada style Deals and the self-harming ‘No-Deal’ neither respects the Referendum result nor goes anywhere near what May Deal offers – simply the custom laws harmonisation cannot mean we can’t strike independent deals with other countries – and further this talk is creating a distrust in politicians who can’t unite behind an arduously and diligently won through Deal which otherwise may have to go to another Peoples Vote; please let us unite now for the British peoples’ continued prosperity and wellbeing and stop power-politicking – the legal assurance on the Irish Backstop she is trying to win would be the ‘cherry on the cake’.
Enjoy the Christmas cake and let’s all look forward to a Happy New Year
Finally meeting the Yemeni Ambassador let us hope the ceasefire holds this Christmas and leads to peace in 2019.
Anil Bhanot OBE
Chair EM Foundation Group – ref. Theatre www.peepulenterprise.com [Now after Jeremy Corbyn’s misogynist jibe in parliament a Pantomime must be on the cards] Founding Member/Director of Hindu Council UK