James O'Brien's Unmissable Monologue On Cabinet Ministers' Resignations

15 November 2018, 11:08

This is James O'Brien's explanation of why Brexiteers are refusing to accept Theresa May's Brexit deal.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work & Pensions Secretary Esther McVey resigned from the Cabinet, saying they couldn't vote for the Prime Minister's version of Brexit.

That puts huge pressure on Mrs May as she attempts to get the EU Withdrawal Bill through the House of Commons.

And James believes there's a simple reason they can't vote for that deal - because it would involve having to admit their promises of the sunny uplands were never true.

Dominic Raab, before his resignation
Dominic Raab, before his resignation. Picture: PA

Speaking on his LBC show, James said: "We're still listening to the people whose lies and misunderstandings brought us to precisely this point. We're still listening to them. And if we carry on listening to them, it will get even worse.

This deal that Theresa May announced yesterday is - let me explain this really simply - it is pretty much the best available option given the hand she was dealt.

"She was dealt that hand by Brexit, so anybody who supported Brexit cannot get behind this negotiated plan precisely because it involves admitting that they bear personal responsibility for the appalling nature of the hand she's had to play.

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

"Lots of people believed that Brexit would deliver unspecified brilliance. When Boris Johnson said the words 'We shall have our cake and eat it', surely you should have felt a little alarm bell go off in your head, given that we have all spent our entire lives employing the proverb that you can't have your cake and eat it.

"And he'll be on manoeuvres already this morning. He'll still have his eye on the glittering prize of Number 10 Downing Street. He'd rather be Prime Minister of a smoking carcass of a country than never be Prime Minister in a country that flourishes. That is a simple truth now.

"But here's the fundamental problem. And if you read Dominic Raab's resignation letter then I think you willfind this conclusion impossible to resist.

"They can't support May's deal because supporting May's deal involves admitting that they've made the best of a bad lot. And admitting that she's made the best of a bad lot involves acknowledging that you created the bad lot. And they still can't do that.

"So they still have to cling to the notion that there's something better down the road. They still have to sell the snake oil that says 'I can't tell you what it is yet, but it's brilliant'.

"Dominic Raab's resignation letter effectively says 'I can't support this because there's something better called Brexit. But I can't tell you what it is'."