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UK Prime Minister Offers Her Draft Brexit Proposal and Chaos Ensues!
Since Prime Minister Theresa May offered her 585 page draft Brexit document to the UK Cabinet, she has lost 2 Cabinet officials and 5 junior officials, with rumblings of perhaps double that amount to submit their resignations by Monday of next week, and further on this, ERG spokesman Jacob Rees-Mogg has submitted a Letter of No Confidence to the Conservative party executive.
It may be that Jacob’s letter to the party executive is the first of many such letters and according to the rules, once 48 such letters are received the party can then trigger a leadership contest to replace the Prime Minister. Which would be bad timing in the extreme for anyone who cares about obtaining a decent Brexit.
There is of course, only one problem with the draft document that Theresa May has proposed (and apparently the EU27 have approved) and it is that there is no mechanism for the UK to leave the proposed Customs Union before the Implementation Period ends in 2020, nor at any time following the Implementation Period.
Which means the UK will be stuck in the EU’s Customs Union and subject to their regulations indefinitely with no way out. A complete non-starter.
It’s been pointed out that it would be more difficult for the UK to leave that neverending Customs Union agreement than to leave the EU using the Article 50 clause of the Treaty on European Union. Scary thought.
The Present Chaos Will Continue Until PM May Makes a Move – Any Move!
Her choices are limited, but she must act quickly to minimize the slow motion car crash that is HM government at this time.
- She could resign, which is a terrible idea. Theresa May is the best person and is the person Britons voted for to carry out Brexit. Not only that, she’s more informed about Brexit than any of her ministers, and has been living in the eye of the storm moreso than any other House of Commons member since the EU referendum.
- She could do nothing and just let the present chaos continue, which is an even worse idea. More Cabinet Secretaries, ministers, department heads and even junior staff are poised to quit their posts in the coming days in the absence of positive steps by Theresa May to remedy the failures of the draft Brexit document.
- Theresa May could hit the talk shows to explain her Brexit proposal more fully to Britons, which is somewhat worthwhile, but that conversation will forever come back to the fact that there is no mechanism for the UK to get out of the EU Customs Union. Ever. The UK will forever be chained to the EU by the present draft agreement — even if Italy and Greece suffer a massive economic crash and take the whole works into a disastrous and long-lasting economic depression. In which case, so much for the Brexit dividend!
- The Prime Minister could put the present flawed agreement to a free vote in the House of Commons, which would prove to her how insufficient this draft proposal really is. (I don’t think she gets it) Remember, a free vote allows MP’s to vote using their own conscience and in such votes party whips focus on nothing but getting MP’s to the chamber so they don’t miss the vote. I doubt that it would muster 50 votes out of 650 at this point. Maybe much less, if she waits a week.
- Theresa May could put the present flawed agreement to a normal vote in the House of Commons and policed by party whips and it still wouldn’t pass. Not only that, she would then face the double jeopardy of more Cabinet resignations and the body politic even more frustrated with their politicians. The media… would love it though! It was nice to see them so happy to have some exciting news to report since the moment the Prime Minister released her draft proposal.
- The Prime Minister’s best course of action would be to add an end date to the document, present it to her Cabinet for their approval, and the next day present it in the House of Commons for a free vote — and it would likely pass with flying colours. However, it might not pass with the mandarins in Brussels. But a little bit of moxie is what is needed at this time, not more appeasement. I can’t stress enough, this option is the best option by a very wide margin. The EU is just going to have to like it — or make a counter-proposal — something they’ve done precious little of during the Brexit process. And why would they? So far, it’s been Theresa May negotiating with Conservative MP’s, with Labour MP’s, with her own Cabinet, and with herself. It’s time to put the EU side on the hotseat. At the very least, it will prevent an ongoing political bloodbath for Ms. May, it will help her to keep her job, it will put some of the responsibility for a successful Brexit on the shoulders of the EU side (as it should be, as it takes two to tango) and it is the most efficient way of getting past the present disastrous moment.
- If Theresa May feels she can’t do as I suggest in #6 above, she needs to resign OR she needs to declare that this draft proposal was stillborn and we are now onto a Hard Brexit which would save British taxpayers £40 billion. Or as much as £51.5 billion which is the number that is buzzing around over the past few days.
In the present political climate and with dissatisfaction by voters from all parties growing by the hour, Prime Minister May’s worst option is to do nothing.
She must act decisively, for her career, for her party’s fortunes, and for the good of the country. Sitting this one out just isn’t an option.