Forget what is in the best interests of the country. Government Brexiteers moved on to asking, “What is in the best interests of my party?” Now it appears they have moved on to, “What is in the best interests of my political career?” That is, what Brexit position do I take that will get me elected Tory leader?
The answer is to promise the most extreme Brexit possible: a No Deal scenario where we walk away from the negotiating table with nothing agreed. We would fall off the Brexit cliff next March with no withdrawal deal with the EU, no access to our regulatory agencies, and no safety nets in place. Any future trade talks would be over.
The War of the Tory Succession is being fought on the Brexit battlefield, and while they sit comfortably in their ivory towers surrounded by herds of pink unicorns, the lives which will be impacted the most by these decisions are the likes of you and me.
The interests of the country are being compromised by Brexit careerists who have set their sights on the Conservative party crown and will stop at nothing to get it. Political posturing of the worst kind puts ‘No Deal’ back on the table.
As the details of the withdrawal deal become clear, what would be anti-democratic would be to give the public no further say in decisions that will dictate the country’s future for decades to come.
We’d be leaving the country’s future in the hands of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg, whom I believe cannot be trusted to act on anything other than their own self-interest. The only solution is a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal – without No Deal on the ballot paper.
A No Deal Brexit would not mark the dawn of a Golden Age of Britain where we make a comeback as a world superpower and go running back to the Empire, as Nigel Farage would have you believe. It has instead begun a race to the bottom in the Conservative party as politicians strive to outdo each other on who can offer the most immediate and most extreme Brexit.
Just look at ex-public school (aren’t they all?) Brexit cheerleader Daniel Hannan, who said during the referendum that “absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place in the Single Market”. Fast forward two years and he’s now dropped that pledge and pitched himself at The Sun, where he frequently attacks other members of his party for not being Brexity enough.
Or there’s the carefully constructed Jacob Rees-Mogg, whose solution to the Northern Ireland border issue is to force the Republic of Ireland to leave the European Union as well. Ireland was never part of the Empire for a reason.
Many of these Brexiteers suggested No Deal before Theresa May had even got to the negotiating table. They don’t see it as a fallback position, they absurdly present No Deal as the desirable option.
And let’s be clear, No Deal was never ‘negotiation leverage’. If self-harm is negotiation leverage, then someone tell my dad that if he doesn’t buy me a Ferrari right now, I’ll crash my Škoda Citigo.
Brexit careerists thrive on disaster capitalism. A No Deal Brexit would present them with the opportunity to deregulate en masse, to sell off more public services, and to ensure many more years of austerity, having promised the opposite – this mob want us to chase fool’s gold !
We must not let them hijack a People’s Vote. Having ‘No Deal’ on the ballot paper would be deeply irresponsible. We cannot allow the notion of crashing out to be normalised.
Let’s learn from the 2016 referendum, and make sure that future public votes are done properly, responsibly, and are driven by the people, not by careerist politicians. Either the Brexit ultras of Rees-Mogg, Gove, Johnson and Hannan will leverage their power and take the decisions, or we the people will.
Don’t let them. Take back control. We decide. Demand a People’s Vote on the final deal.