It is March 29th 2017. Shortly after midday, a letter from Prime Minister Theresa May will be handed over to Donald Tusk, the President of the EU. It will be a symbolic and historic gesture signifying the start of the process of our withdrawal from the European Union The letter is said to bear a Wet Signature.
Sometimes a term is so evocative that I immediately register interest in turning it into a book-title, before I have written a single word of the book. That was my reaction this morning on hearing about The Wet Signature. It suggests spying and visceral actions. The cover of the book would have a figure slumped over a piece of paper. A pen had fallen from a lifeless hand. Ink (or is it blood?) oozes down the paper, and onto the desk.
The letter from Theresa May is signed by hand. A photograph purporting to be the actual moment of signing has been released and will be endlessly replicated in the old and new media.
A tale of two Donalds?
Yesterday, a photograph was released of Donald Trump allegedly signing The Energy Independence Executive Order which will dismantle President Obama’s climate-preserving legislation.
Each gesture signals changes taking place which will have global consequences. Politically, each requires leadership of the highest order.
It is an irony that Theresa May at the moment has two Donalds to deal with. Each will need careful managing if she is to achieve her stated objective of obtaining the best possible deal for the UK.