Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Mandy Rhodes: Theresa May’s a political charlatan with Nigel Farage as her number one​ fan

Nigel Farage (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)
Nigel Farage (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

AFTER all the degradations and humiliations that have gone before, Theresa May must have thought she had hit bottom.

However, last week, being defended by Nigel Farage in the European Parliament must feel like a special kind of shame.

You could almost hear the strains of Land Of Hope and Glory playing as Farage, an MEP who for 20 years has taken the Brussels lucre but not their rules, rose to his feet to appear almost statesmanlike in his exculpation of a prime minister that he has vilified for incompetence.

Without any apparent sense of the irony, Farage got on his patriotic hobby horse and told his fellow MEPs who, don’t forget, had been watching the bizarre events of the week at Westminster, that “people back home think we’re dealing with a bunch of fanatics who are not prepared to be reasonable.”

He hit back at the EU to defend the prime minister who he said had been humiliated.

“As I have made clear many times, I do not support Mrs May,” he added. “She is our leader, however, and seeing her being ridiculed by foreign bureaucrats insults the British nation.”

Woah, Nigel, had you not been following events of the last few days? Theresa May doesn’t need any help in the humiliation stakes, she brings it all on herself.

For all that our prime minister has billed herself as a “bloody difficult woman” and has built a solid fan base for being dogged, our European allies, who have labelled her nebulous are now in no doubt that she is also hopelessly capricious.

May triggered Article 50 before she had a plan. She set the parameters and agreed to pay an exit fee before negotiations had even started. She demanded the backstop, signed the Withdrawal Agreement, failed to get backing for her deal in the parliament and then, having said it was her deal or no deal (and that there was no going back to the EU to ask for more), last week voted against her own deal and said she’d go back to the EU to renegotiate on changes that the EU had already vetoed and on talks that had closed. This isn’t the behaviour of a good prime minister, it is the act of a political charlatan.

The backstop emerged as a holding position until an alternative could be invented to allow for the world’s first completely open border between two jurisdictions operating under two separate customs regimes and to be put in place

But now we are asking the EU to accept an alternative arrangement to the arrangement that was to be in place until alternative arrangements were made.

And we accuse them of being unreasonable.

We are now weeks away from Brexit and the simple truth is this: Brexit and an open border in Ireland are mutually incompatible. They were in 2016. They have been throughout the negotiation. And they remain so today.

May is now on a fool’s errand to demand the EU acquiesce to demands she previously said could not be met. She’ll come back empty-handed and be on the money when she says, ‘nothing has changed’. She will blame foreign forces which now include our near neighbours in Ireland, for her domestic failings and fuel the kind of xenophobia that is red meat to the Nigel Farage and his ilk. No wonder he is now her biggest fan.