The Brady Amendment passed in January explicitly stating that the government would need to replace the Irish Backstop with ‘alternative arrangements’. When the amendment was going through the House of Commons I disagreed with it and believed the ERG should not support it. My argument was that it was something for nothing. The ERG would effectively be relying on any kind of alternative which wasn’t spelled out or even alluded to by the government or it’s supporters. However the key word was ‘replace’ so perhaps ERG members believed that as long as the backstop was replaced, they would get a clean break from the EU in the end.
Alas, my stance has come to pass. Theresa May hasn’t even asked the EU to reopen the deal and restart the negotiations. Instead, poor old Geoffrey Cox the Attorney General was sent to Brussels to get some kind of reassurance – obviously because the last time Juncker and Tusk sent a letter to the Prime Minister with their assurances, it went down so well. With barely five days to go until the deal was to be voted on again, Cox and the EU negotiators wondered whether or not to even bother continuing their negotiations. Cox hit a brick wall quickly and on 7 March, was given 48 hours to come up with other ideas by the wishes of the EU.
The Deal remains unchanged. The only idea that was floated by Cox and his team was a makeshift independent arbitration for the backstop. This was being dubbed the ‘mini backstop’. A backstop to the backstop is not a replacement and nor is it providing alternative arrangements. The talks broke down on Saturday and by Sunday there was little proof that negotiations had not ended up where they started. As Theresa May once infamously said, nothing has changed.
This is the story of Theresa May’s premiership. Again and again, she feigns determination to achieve Brexit. The EU knows she’s not serious, and why would they wish to play a game of déjà vu with the Attorney General with just under three weeks to go until 29 March? The EU doesn’t want to change the deal, because it has the UK over a barrel. Despite this impossible and incredibly shameful position, May’s robots are trying to intimidate Brexiteers into voting for her deal unchanged. She herself gave a speech at Grimsby, saying that either her deal is voted through or Brexit might not happen at all. A bit of an oxymoron, as her deal isn’t Brexit in any way shape or form.
Perhaps this was her plan all along because on On 26 February Theresa May made a statement to the house regarding her deal. May spilled her usual meaningless guff such as ‘shared values’ with the EU and how she is ‘determined to get a good deal’. In classic Maybot fashion, dreary nonsense was plentiful but substance was lacking. You can see right through her, she doesn’t have any genuine belief or motivation in her own statements.
After rattling off her hollow words, she showed her true intentions. May is now offering the house two votes that will take place simultaneously after the second vote on her deal. The vote for her deal in the Commons will be 12 March and the subsequent votes on 13 and 14. The vote she has offered on the 13 will be to take No Deal off the table should her deal be cast down. On the 14, she will then offer the house a vote to extend Article 50.
Leavers and a large number of prominent Remainers in Parliament both agree, an extension won’t solve anything. The European Parliament Elections will be occuring at the end of May. The EU has already begun replacing the 50 or so British seats and handing them out to France, Spain and Poland. If the UK was still a member of the EU by this time, Britain would legally have the right to stand in the election. The EU would have to turf out the newly occupied seats and then allow British MEPs to retake them. I don’t think the EU is willing to look silly on such a level, even if Theresa May is.
Taking No Deal off the table would mean the UK doesn’t leave on March 29. Theresa May would be breaking her own manifesto promise if this were to happen. The will of the people will have been overturned, plunging our civilisation into a very dangerous pit. Confidence in our politicians and indeed our very political institutions would be lying in ruin. Confidence can come and go, but hope is something that cannot be lost. People who have never voted for anything before, believed in something so much that they went to the polling stations in their droves. They gave our Parliament the largest electoral mandate ever in our history. Yet if we do not leave on March 29, the hope we once had in our democracy will be eviscerated.
There is no knowing what the Remainers in Parliament might unleash. They just don’t get how angry so many people are with their actions to thwart Brexit. If they think they are staring into the abyss by the prospect of leaving the EU, they should turn around and look into the abyss of our rage were they to betray us.
Leave Means Leave are conducting a march that will start on the 16 and last all the way up to the 29. People from around the country will descend onto Westminster and demand that their will be implemented. I believe there will be an extremely large protest. However this is the very soul of our nation that hangs in the balance, so rioting, mass social disorder and even violence on the streets are very real possibilities. This is how far we are being pushed for just wanting our country back.
The British people are now more than ever leaning toward No Deal. Yet, there is no such thing as No Deal because all that means is we go onto WTO rules. We trade with the world on WTO rules, so anybody that resorts to the usual scaremongering of ‘cliff edge’ is showing themselves to have an economic understanding that is naught but ash. The Tory Party grassroots are overwhelmingly in favour of No Deal with 70% of the membership wanting this to be the official government stance and 80% of Tory associations also wanting this outcome.
I have known for some time that this issue is not just existential for our country but for my party. But then again, Theresa May doesn’t care what we members want, she’s a Wet. In fact, she’s tried to take away the autonomy of local associations ever since she got into No.10. Wets have been trying to silence the Thatcherite wing of the party since the early 90s; so nothing new here. The Tory electorate is far more stoic and true to the core in belief that sovereignty is above any cost. If we do not deliver Brexit, the Tory Party is finished. We will have destroyed the country and the sceptre with which we achieved our brightest days.
We must not allow ourselves to be bullied by the torrent of fear the Remain establishment wants us to feel. Their forecasts and pitiful guesswork have been consistently wrong. Rather than 500,000 job losses and an immediate recession, we now have the lowest unemployment ever recorded since voting Leave. The deficit has consistently decreased while our borrowing has also fallen. In the end, it’s not about money, it’s not about jobs. It’s about living in a country we can call our home, where we can trade with whoever we want, we can control our own borders and decide our own immigration policy and we can live by our own laws.
If we do leave on March 29 with WTO rules, then we will have not only regained our sovereignty and kept our £39 billion, but avoided the abject humiliation that Theresa May’s deal would bring and left with our national dignity intact.
If not, I believe the streets are calling and we must be prepared to protect our democracy even if those who we elected don’t want to.