Our Prime Minster, Theresa May has been speaking in Florence today. It was good to see the 3 best mates, Boris, Philip Hammond and David Davis smiling happily in the front row seats. I liked the speech. It was very much as I expected. Much the most encouraging aspect is that the UK media had totally failed to line up interviewees of any significance to declare it was "disappointing" and "unrealistic". Not even the BBC. Most negative line was that not much would change for 5 years. My response to that is "So what". They had to fall back on Nigel Farage, and we all know that nothing would have satisfied him. He had prepared his negative lines before he heard the speech!
There will be differing responses, including within the Conservative Party. Already had one constituent on the phone upset that we are not just walking away with no deal. Personally, I welcome today's speech. Very much in line with my own opinions. The UK will leave the EU end of March 2019 - a timetable driven by the Lisbon Treaty. That does not leave enough time to work through a trade deal which is best for both sides. It seems there will be a period of about two years after March 2019 to negotiate a sensible trade deal which benefits EU and UK. Again personally, my response is "So what". We need best possible deal, and 'so what' if it takes until 2021. We do need the deal to be done before General Election in 2022 though.
What finance transfers there will be from UK to EU is another big issue. Personally, I've always accepted the the UK will pay what we owe, both legally and morally. In fact the figures being talked about today are far lower than that we had been led to expect. I suspect the EU negotiators will want more. But what's important to the negotiations is that it's interpreted as 'sufficient progress' to move on to discussions on trade.
Two other comments I want to make. Will be looking at commentators opinions. Is the reassurance given to EU legally migrants in the UK in the UK acceptable. And how will the commentators react to Mrs May herself. My view is that she is a good Prime Minister. Today I thought she really looked the part. I sense that she has poked in the eye those who have been most relentless in their criticisms.