May must resign in the name of Brexit, and do so now
When people talk of chaos over Brexit they should understand that this is what happens when we let a Remainer like Theresa May lead us out of the EU. It is abundantly clear that May has led us not out of the EU but down the garden path. She must resign immediately
Enough is enough. This week and last, the Prime Minister has been faced with two clear choices: save Brexit by taking Britain out of the European Union on WTO terms, or continue to try and save her thrice-defeated, and awful, Deal by collaborating with the Leader of the Opposition and requesting another humiliating extension to Article 50 from the EU27.
Theresa May has chosen the latter. This is the final straw.
The Prime Minister has consistently argued that the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn – a Marxist threat to our national security, as well as to our economy – is completely unfit to govern the country. In a desperate last throw of the dice, May has decided Corbyn is somewhow fit to determine the nature of Brexit, and our future relationship with the EU.
This cannot be allowed to stand.
For let us be clear what this means. If May manages to finally bully her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament with the threat of No Brexit and collaboration with Labour, the UK will be saddled with the waste of our money, the weakening of our future negotiating position, a dramatically downgraded prospect of trade deals with countries outside the EU, and the watering down our sovereignty.
The PM clearly cannot get her Deal through Parliament with the support of her own party or the DUP. If she can only do so with the support of Labour, the UK would at the very least be forced to endure Labour’s plans for a permanent Customs Union with the EU, and potentially to remain in the Single Market.
Rightfully, the grassroots of the Conservative Party are up in arms at this abject betrayal -- not least because in May’s own election manifesto she clearly pledged to take Britain out of both the Single Market and the Customs Union, and respect the result of the EU referendum.
Many have informed the Party that they will not even campaign in the local elections, that they have cut up their membership cards, and that they are very angry indeed.
The Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox MP, has pointed out this week that a Customs Union would see Britain “stuck in the worst of both worlds, not only unable to set our own international trade policy but subject, without representation, to the policy of an entity over which MPs would have no democratic control”.
His stance, however, stands in stark contrast to the defeatist attitude of key Cabinet Ministers – it’s no surprise May’s Cabinet is formed with a majority of Remain ministers.
The unambiguously anti-Brexit Chancellor, Philip Hammond, now publicly admits a second Referendum is a “perfectly credible” proposition and last weekend laughed about the Government now having “no red lines” in its negotiations with Labour.
Even ostensible Brexiteer, the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox QC MP, echoed these comments and notably failed to rule out a possible Second Referendum in the Commons on Thursday.
In her own statement to the House on Thursday, the PM said the Conservative-Labour talks were difficult, but had to continue in order to find a compromise Brexit which could pass through the Commons. Does she not realise the extent to which she is betraying the nation and her own past pledges simply to force her toxic Deal through Parliament?
May’s statement: “Both sides must compromise” smacks of preparing the ground for a betrayal of the pledge to ‘Take Back Control’. Accepting a Customs Union as a price to pay for Labour’s support means we would hinder future trade deals outside the EU and damage the possibility of reinforcing our links with the Commonwealth.
May could even succumb to Labour’s uncertainly-held policy of a ‘confirmatory Referendum’ – which is merely a disguise to attempt to reverse the result of the Referendum.
Of course, if May intends to scrape together the support of Labour, the Government and the Opposition, she would be sure to cloak their plan in words to ‘con’ Eurosceptic MPs into voting for it and the public to support it. Let’s hope MPs will see through this ploy and stand firm against any linguistic skulduggery.
That said, it is highly likely these cross-party talks will simply fail. Corbyn would alienate Labour Leave voters, and many of those Labour MPs in Parliament who are sitting in Leave-majority Constituencies may just realise they will never retain their seats in a future General Election if they support May’s Deal.
The Parliamentary arithmetic looks even worse when we consider the Tory vote. At most, only 37 Conservative MPs voted in favour of a Customs Union during the second round of Indicative Votes. Even if the PM continues her treachery by going back on previously stated policies, and indeed accepts a ‘confirmatory Referendum’ as part of a Con-Lab joint Brexit plan, we should see the Deal defeated for a fourth and (hopefully) final time.
It is clear Theresa May would rather destroy the Conservative Party and prolong the agony of the nation in order to stubbornly attempt to tie us into her toxic Deal, than resign or accept the legal Brexit default and Leave on WTO terms.
All this so the Prime Minister might save her legacy as the person to ‘deliver’ Brexit. But that legacy is no longer available to her.
Theresa May must resign now, and let a prominent Brexiteer take over the leadership of the Conservative Party, the EU negotiations, and lead us forward into our global future.
We must Get Britain Out of the EU with a clean and clear Brexit to avoid further humiliation of our country and a ‘Brexit in Name Only’.
Alasdair Dow is a Research Executive at the grass-roots cross-party campaign group Get Britain Out
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