WHAT a pity it is that tough-talking Labour MP Kate Hoey cannot be co-opted into the Government to lead the UK’s negotiating team in the floundering Brexit negotiations.

This redoubtable Ulsterwoman, who now sits for a London constituency, would shake-up and wake-up UK negotiators, who are constantly giving the impression of being on the defensive and fighting on the back-foot.

Hoey has been listening with increasing frustration to the litany of Whitehall jargon and excuses designed to explain how it is that the EU negotiators always seem to be in the commanding position. At one point, she was compelled to cry out: “Why don’t we just say ‘no’?”

She shares the Margaret Thatcher attributes of not being afraid to say “no” in a very loud voice if needs be. And with her uncomplicated and at times fierce language, she would alarm the Brussels team just as Thatcher did when she negotiated with them all those years ago.

The UK team desperately needs to adopt a less compliant and far more aggressive attitude in talks which will have an effect on the United Kingdom for generations to come. At the moment, the British delegation is looking very much like the second eleven. Cannot somebody be found from the ranks of the parliamentary Conservative Party to put some oomph into the British negotiations, and remind Brussels forcibly that we are not in this business to be pushed around or, worse still, to be punished?

THE Conservative Party is already preparing the ground for the terrible results, which they fear could hit them in the local elections in May. Party members are being warned to expect the worst, in the hope that this kind of warning might at least serve to soften the blow when it comes.

The Tories seem to have learned no lessons from the Prime Minister’s disastrous general election, which had the opposite to the desired effect and merely put Labour and Jeremy Corbyn in the driving seat. The days when the Tories believed Corbyn would lead the Labour Party into oblivion are long since gone. Traditional Labour supporters may not like what they see is going on, but the uncomfortable fact remains for the Tories that Labour stand as runaway favourites for the May polls. They have successfully harnessed the youth vote, something which has always eluded the Tories, while Corbyn, bizarrely, began to acquire the status of a pop star.

The Conservatives have hardly any time left to swing things around in time for the May votes, and they are already beginning to look forward to the next general election, with something approaching deep anxiety. There are no signs that things are improving for them, and the way the Brexit talks are being handled is not helping their case. Their only hope for the immediate future appears to be that the seeming take-over of Labour by the hard-left Momentum organisation, may have the effect of frightening off otherwise Labour voters. But the signs are that the Tories will not be enjoying the Spring sunshine this year.