There is not a lot of difference, at heart, between Theresa May’s “we will have control of our borders” after Brexit and Donald Trump’s pre-election rhetoric about controlling US borders to create more jobs for US citizens and to keep out terrorists.
Now we are seeing how Trump sets about delivering on his promises — the Mexican wall and restrictions on entering the USA — we should focus on what May’s statements really mean.
While May and Trump use very different languages the intent is similar.
The protests about Trump’s executive orders are largely coming from the East and West coasts. Anyone who has travelled inland from New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles or San Francisco know that you enter a very different county: Trump’s moves will be supported by a large proportion of the US electorate.
They are also welcomed here by the likes of Nigel Farage, the UK constituency that terrifies May.
Implementing May’s “control our borders” policy would be fraught with difficulties in meeting the wishes of her right-wing and liberals, business people and academics. We need to know how she plans to do this, before she makes an Article 50 notification to the EU.
The idea that May is a careful Prime Minister who thinks matters through before committing herself is rapidly turning to dust. Her reluctance to condemn Trump’s immigration order and her offer of a State Visit to the UK by the US president, suggest she was totally unprepared for the consequences. If she was prepared, her actions are even more terrifying.