Last Wednesday, the House of Lords defeated the government, amending the Article 50 bill to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK. There’s only one problem – the EU hasn’t guaranteed the rights of British citizens.
‘The government is heartless!’ The remainers cry. If the government is heartless, then the EU is too. The EU refuses to talk to the UK government before Article 50 is triggered. Why should we give away our hand in poker, just to make ourselves feel better? We won’t be feeling better when British citizens living in the EU have their rights used against us. It’s possible to imagine the EU blackmailing us into paying a fee – they’ve done this before when we had to pay more into the budget due to our economy being successful.
Can you seriously imagine Theresa May deporting EU citizens? To give the EU their due, I can’t imagine them deporting British pensioners in Spain who help keep their economy ticking. This issue should be the first item on the negotiating agenda. It should also be the first item that is agreed upon – it’s an agreement that’s in our common interests.
This is not a bill to determine what the government’s negotiating position should be. This is a bill that allows the government to trigger Article 50. It should be a formality; the people voted, the politicians deliver. Instead, the House of Lords, which is stuffed full of Liberal Democrats who aren’t accountable to the people, seek to frustrate the process.
I’m no fan of this government in many areas: the recent budget, business rates and HS2, to name but a few issues. Yet, the task of negotiating is the government’s and not parliamentarians. Should Parliament scrutinise the negotiations? Absolutely. Let’s get on with it, it’s been nearly nine months since the vote. Let the government implement what we decided, as Cameron’s infamous taxpayer funded leaflet assured us.