Ed – An edited version of this article appeared in the Daily Telegraph. Please note that Christopher Gill is the former President of the Freedom Association, not the current as stated in the DT.
‘Deal’ or ‘No Deal’, that is the question!
In everyday living, deal or no deal is a fact of life – people buy and sell their homes on that basis; in the commercial sector, deal or no deal is axiomatic; when we’re poorly we either do what the doctor tells us or we don’t and even when we go shopping it still all boils down to deal or no deal.
Only, it seems, when politicians are involved does ‘no deal’ come to mean something entirely different!
On Tuesday 15th January our elected representatives voted down Mrs May’s ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ – the ‘deal’ – by 432 votes to 202 but are now massing to make sure that ‘no deal’ is ‘taken off the table’ !
It beggars belief that the only option that the majority of MPs can apparently agree upon is to defy the will of the people by preventing ‘no deal’, which is, in effect, precisely the clean break that the majority of us voted for on 23rd June 2016.
Former Prime Minister, David Cameron, told us that whichever way we voted he would honour our decision but, as we all know, the majority of our elected representatives don’t agree with our decision and are now engaged in parliamentary shenanigans to prevent us leaving the EU on World Trade Organisation terms on 29th March.
Oracles such as Tony Blair say that we should have another referendum, but what useful purpose could that possibly serve when the real problem is the stubborn refusal of Parliament to implement the result of the referendum we’ve already had?
The only way to prevent the result of another referendum being stymied by the same MPs as the ones who are currently thwarting ‘no deal’ is to have yet another General Election, but that isn’t going to happen simply because the turkeys won’t vote for Christmas!
Another option being bandied about is to rescind the Article 50 notice that the UK served on Brussels in March 2017 to leave the EU on the 29th of March this year, a statement of intent that has been repeatedly confirmed by PM Theresa May.
One must credit the PM with enough gumption to realise that her support for any one of the above alternatives to ‘no deal’ spells electoral disaster for the Conservative Party.
Nor will her attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable by seeking a cross-Party consensus earn her many brownie points with her own Party members because consensus would inevitably mean a softer Brexit than most of them voted for.
Theresa May blew her best opportunity to go down in history as a popular and successful Prime Minister when she allowed her own personal prejudices to stand in the way of a clean Brexit; compounded her difficulties by calling an unnecessary General Election and is now in great danger of throwing away the opportunity to redeem herself by not insisting that ‘no deal’ really does mean what we all understood it to mean !
Christopher Gill. 19th January 2019.