Brexit is one of the most defining in our history. It is sometimes presented as a political disease, which must be cured by simply preventing its fulfilment or as a political opportunity, which will enable us to become once again a sovereign nation capable of making its own laws. What has transpired however over the last few months is the inability of the political class to understand that Brexit is a done deal and cannot be stopped.
The European Union is divisive issue
The European Union is an issue that has divided our nation for decades and will inevitably continue to do so if unresolved. It is rather fascinating to observe politicians defend the European Union when in fact we have been hesitant to join and reluctant to fully engage in what has been dubbed 'The European Project'.
We are under such informational assault, we seldom ponder on the semantic. The European Union is described repetitively as 'the European Project'. The Financial Times's Martin Wolf wrote an opinion piece entitled: 'Brexiters misunderstand the European Project'. The Oxford Dictionary defines 'project' as "An individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim."
The European Project has never worked in reality! Promises of expansive wealth have not materialised as a recent study shows that Germany and Netherlands are the only euro winners with Italy, France, Greece and Spain lagging behind with astronomic debts. It is worth pointing out mere promises do not amount to much on the continent and here in the UK.
The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union has led to a several developments few would have predicted.
Out with the old?
First, Commons Speaker John Bercow sparked a constitutional crisis when he gave MPs a chance to shape the country's withdrawal from the European Union. This unprecedented move broke centuries of precedent enabling MPs who wish to frustrate our exit from the European Union. The consequences of his actions will be long felt.
Second, politicians have turned a blind eye to the citizenry damaging further the trust between the electorate and their elective representatives. On the one hand, Conservative and Labour MPs who have defected to form the Independent Group are campaigning for a second referendum but have refused to give their own constituents a people vote on them for fear they may lose their seat. They are currently trying to recruit MPs facing deselection and would like to focus their effort on marginal seats held by Tories in the hope of gaining some sort of legitimacy. Difficult to understand how this will plan out but with Liberal Democrat embroiled in a scandal, there may be room for some kind of centrist group but I doubt that.
Third, several MPs seating in the House of Commons are focusing on representing their own interests dismissing the idea they will have to face the people they have failed to represent at election time.
Fourth, Amber Rudd, Greg Clark and David Gauke have dismissed the importance of collective responsibility threatening to resign should the government fulfils its campaign promises. They went further by abstaining to vote on a motion, which would have left a managed no deal exit on the table.
Fifth, The Labour Party backed a second referendum. An ill-thought decision irrespective of the motives, which lie with the emergence of The Independence Group, now a political party called Change UK; who incidentally do not want change if that means Brexit.
Sixth, both traditional parties have essentially ripped to pieces their own manifestos so what is the point of making promises that could be torn during a mandate.
Seventh, Corbyn and May have shown a total lack of political leadership, which will impact on how their respective party is perceived. The local elections should give us a glimpse of the electorate's verdict. Corbyn's ambivalence is not what people want. It will be too reminiscent of 10 Downing Street's current resident. Neither here nor there may have worked in France (or not) but it is unlikely to wash with the citizens of this country
Brexit has brought all these issues to the surface but perhaps this is a necessary process to rid the system of its political putrefactive elements. There is a need for readjustment!
In with the new?
Despite what they would like us to believe, The Independent Group / Change UK brings nothing new. On the contrary, it is heavily reminiscent of Blairism. Unsurprisingly, Tony Blair has been very supportive of newly formed political party.
There are two scenario that come to mind;
First, traditional parties must rediscover their essence if they are to survive Brexit. Both leaders have not stood for much over the past couple of years. Theresa May has been described as the most left-wing Prime Minister for over 40 years. Fraser Nelson wrote Moggism is the future of the Conservative Party and British Politics. Jeremy Corbyn's reign at the helm of the Labour party has been plagued by in-fighting and rows about anti-Semitism just to name an issue. The poor behaviour of his MPs is not immediately reprimanded. Could it be because it may change the arithmetic in parliament? Unless Brexit is delivered, people will start to look elsewhere.
Nigel Farage has formed the Brexit Party, which disenchanted voters will join if we are still part of the European Union later in the year. Expect more defections and minority governments if the issue of Brexit is not resolved in the briefest delay. Voting for a deal, which is nothing but a mean to hand in our sovereignty to the European Union is a dangerous move, which will dissolve the power of the Eurosceptic branches of parliament. Perhaps the way out of this conundrum is a delay, a change of leadership and a subsequent election to redistribute the cards once again.
Our destiny is intrinsically linked to our exit from the European Union. It has been a divisive issue from the moment we entered and continues to be now that we have voted to leave. The House of Commons may hold all the cards now but power remains with the citizenry, and this should not be underestimated.