INTELLECTUAL snobs had a field day this week when the girls on Love Island tried to discuss Brexit.
‘So does that mean we won’t have any trees?’ asked Hayley, mishearing a comment about trade deals, while Georgia worried: ‘Doesn’t it mean it would be harder to like, go to like, Spain and stuff?’
It’s easy to chortle at the viral clip, but in reality Brexit is pretty damn hard to understand.
Trying to make sense of the intricacies of the votes on the Brexit Bill is enough to bring you out in a tension headache. Few people in Westminster fully understood what was going on — let alone in the wider world.
But without getting bogged down in the exact meaning of a meaningful vote — what happened this week in the House of Commons could have huge consequences for the prime minister (and, as a result, the rest of us).
If Theresa May falls off the treacherous tightrope she’s treading, we will look back at this week as the moment it all started to go wrong for her.
There are wildly different accounts of what Theresa May did in order to persuade enough Conservative MPs to back her in the division lobbies.
Remainers believe they extracted a cast iron promise from the prime minister that MPs would get the final say on what should happen if she fails to strike a deal with the EU.
Brexiteers claim no such concession was made (they worry MPs would vote for the softest Brexit or even try to overturn it altogether if that happens).
One thing is for sure, they can’t both be right — and it won’t be long until we find out the truth.
The government last night published its new proposals for the Brexit Bill which returns to the House of Lords on Monday, and it appears the prime minister is more frightened of the Brexiteers than the Remainers. But which side has the power to bring her down if she betrays them?
Those questions will have been weighing heavily on Mrs May’s mind as the new amendment was drafted. If she has calculated wrong it could be fatal.
Don’t stay mum on shared baby leave
I’M FED up with people talking down shared parental leave — where mums and dads can split the time they take off work to look after the kids.
The latest example is the women and equalities committee, which dismissively advises that ‘the government’s flagship policy of shared parental leave is likely to have little impact, with a predicted take-up rate of just two to eight per cent’.
Challenging stereotypes around who brings up the children will take time — this is not something that can happen overnight. As employers and employees get more used to the new legislation, I’m convinced that take-up will increase.
Currently 285,000 families are eligible for shared parental leave every year. If eight per cent of couples take it up, that means 22,800 mums and dads are splitting the time off — and 22,800 babies are benefiting from more time with their fathers.
For a policy that doesn’t cost the taxpayer a penny, that’s a success story we should celebrate.
Sturgeon hopes England win is final whistle for 1966
MY WALL charts are up, my fantasy football team is ready and I can’t wait to cheer on England in the World Cup. Last week on Sophy Ridge on Sunday I asked Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon who she would be supporting. She said she wished England well and added: ‘Maybe if they win this World Cup we can stop talking about 1966 at long last.’ Although I like her optimism about England’s chances, let’s just try and get out of the group stages first…
A large rebellion that fell short on big names
IT WASN’T just Theresa May who faced a rebellion over Brexit this week.
Six Labour MPs quit their posts to rebel against Jeremy Corbyn’s position — Laura Smith, Ged Killen, Ellie Reeves, Tonia Antoniazzi, Anna McMorrin and Rosie Duffield.
If you recognise those names, then that’s so impressive you are officially given permission to scoff at the lack of Brexit knowledge on Love Island.