News that Prime Minister Theresa May is to ask the European Union for another extension to the UK’s departure from the EU will be interpreted by many ordinary people – especially those who voted to leave – as Brexit’s death-knell.
I have tried rather hard to avoid criticising the Prime Minister, preferring to suggest that she has been very consistent in her words regarding Brexit. Her comment, ‘Brexit means Brexit’ at the very start of her tenure was questioned by some but my preference was to believe that what she meant was that the vote of the majority would be honoured. Since then, the PM has done and said little to change my view, at least regarding actually leaving the EU. Yet she has been accused of treachery and worse. Why? At no time has the PM expressed any desire to do anything other than deliver Brexit. How to deliver it has been the big question.
The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) was, and remains, a flawed document but it is still the only withdrawal agreement that was ever likely to be on offer. With a little imagination it is my view that the questions over the Irish border could have been handled in a much more equable way (especially since open borders have existed between the Republic and the UK since the 1920s) and after forty-seven years of membership, compromise was always going to be needed somewhere. But even as the WA stands, it is still only an agreement over the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU. It is not and was never going to be the ‘deal’ that governs the relationship between the UK and the EU. That has not been discussed. Had the WA been voted through Parliament, the UK would today not be a member of the EU and discussions over what would replace the WA could have begun – and it is THAT deal that will count. It is that deal that will finalise how the UK, including Northern Ireland, relates to and works with and alongside its EU partners.
To get to that point however, required MPs to put the national interest first and it is here that the real problems have arisen.
The people of the United Kingdom had a vote on EU membership. The result was a majority voted to leave. How large or small that majority was is irrelevant; as I have consistently written, democracy works by the vote of a majority but the continual posturing and posing by a large number of MPs is why we are where we are now. This culminated in a significant number of them staging what amounted to a coup and taking the ability of government to govern away from it and attempting to do so themselves. Yet having awarded themselves power, they still cannot decide what to do with it.
Let’s pause again and look at how things are supposed to work; I know I have said this before but it is worth repeating. MPs are elected by the people and are the representatives of the people. MPs are members of a political party and that party has a leader. Whichever party gets the most MPs then has the right to form a government and the leader of that party is then invited by Her Majesty the Queen to do so. Becoming a member of government is thus the gift of the party leader and the party leader becomes Prime Minister. MPs, by themselves and of themselves, do not have and never have had the right to govern.
This is why the actions of those MPs involved, led by Oliver Letwin and Yvette Cooper, is such an affront to democracy and the people of the UK. Both, along with most other MPs, wish to stop Brexit altogether. This is also an affront to democracy and it is why I wrote previously that they must leave parliament - or be made to - and at the earliest opportunity.
This applies also to those MPs who supposedly have supported Brexit but through their own vanity have frustrated it; those such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker. Despite their apparent wish to see the UK out of the EU, what has been the result of their actions? The UK has not left.
It is also worth noting that, having lost a confidence vote in his constituency, Dominic Grieve, sometimes thought of as the refuter-in-chief of Brexit, is now getting support from other MPs, including those purportedly supporting the UK’s departure. Despite this, it is likely that Grieve will not be an MP when the next general election comes along as he will probably be de-selected and a new Conservative candidate chosen.
The same will apply to those MPs who have ‘crossed the floor’ and left their party, Nick Boles doing so on Monday. As he is no longer a Conservative his now former constituency, Grantham and Stamford, will select an alternative. The same applies to those who left both Labour and Tories to form the newly-named ‘Change UK’ party, the former Independent Group. Their constituency associations will be selecting new party candidates at the next general election. Which does beg the question – what will they change if those who have crossed the floor are not re-elected? What will be the situation if remainer MPs are de-selected?
The answer to that is new candidates and new MPs. And it is why the people – who remember, have already had a vote – must very loudly demand that existing MPs are indeed de-selected. Including those who are so very clearly looking to further their own interests by making statements that position themselves to run for leadership of the Tories; including those who have frustrated Brexit by their self-serving actions; including Boris Johnson and the other so-called ‘big beasts’ of the party. Actions speak louder than words and it is their actions (as well as their words) that has defied the majority vote over Brexit and it is why the UK is still a member of the EU. All their exhortations over ‘No-Deal’ and ‘trading on WTO terms’ are rather meaningless when those very same MPs cannot even agree on what kind of Brexit they want. The same applies to Labour MPs who have done the same – how many of them represent ‘leave’ constituencies? Most of them. Yet there are a mere handful who have done the right thing by the majority of the people, just as there is for the Conservatives.
That handful, on both sides, are the only remainers that should remain in the House of Commons. A new intake of MPs would revitalise democracy in the UK and send a clear message to those who are elected that they are the servants of the people, not their masters.
It would indeed be a very British revolution.
© Kevan James 2019
The Great Betrayal April 1, 2019.
650 Vacancies. March 18, 2019.
The Unrepresentative Representatives. March 12, 2019.
The Politics of Hate. March 10, 2019.
News Commentary: Politics at the Crossroads. February 21, 2019.
Vote - lest it be taken from you. January 19, 2019
Sacking the Posers. December 12, 2018.
Brexit - Delayed, Derailed and Done For. December 7, 2018
Brexitania. November 16, 2018
Has Magna Carta been eroded and beyond the point of no return? August 24, 2018.
You can read more of Kevan James’ views in his book, ‘Comments of a Common Man’, £9.99, available from Amazon
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