The upcoming General Election’s top issue is unquestionably Brexit, followed closely by a forensic examination of Jeremy Corbyn’s character.
Corbyn seems out of his depth. Meanwhile his party’s views on Brexit are flip-flopping between Remain & Leave, between a second referendum and no second referendum, and there’s a lack of coherence about whether Britain should pay any kind of EU exit bill.
Theresa May says she voted Remain in the EU Referendum of 2016. But she has always been an anti-EU politician when she’s been outside of Government. Aside from some diehard UKIP commentators who believe that May is going to sell Leavers down the river on Brexit, public opinion tends to side with her when she says Brexit means Brexit.
Jeremy Corbyn meanwhile comes across as a hopeless u-turner. Mr Corbyn voted against membership of the EU during the 1975 referendum on whether Britain should remain part of the Common Market. Asked about how he voted back then during a rally in 2015, Mr Corbyn told Reuters: “I did vote and I voted ‘No’.” Mr Corbyn voted against the Lisbon Treaty which gave the EU a legal personality and sweeping new powers in 2008. In an article from 2009, Mr Corbyn said that the EU had “always suffered a serious democratic deficit. The project has always been to create a huge free-market Europe, with ever-limiting powers for national parliaments and an increasingly powerful common foreign and security policy.”
Meanwhile, Tim Farron wants a second referendum and is an ardent pro-European describing Brexit as a “theft of democracy”. Which makes this all the harder to swallow:
Farron’s chief Liberal Democrat ally, and the Lib Dems’ Brexit spokesperson, Nick Clegg, is also dismissive of last year’s referendum and despising of mistaken Leavers, who he doesn’t believe to be worth their vote. Yet here he is calling for a real referendum on Europe back in the past when he thought Remainers stood a chance of winning:
Another politician (these days of the fashionable, unelected variety) who vociferously calls for a rethink on the EU referendum is former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair. This week his plot to curb Brexit by ousting 20 key MPs was foiled yet here Mr Blair is calling for a withdrawal from the EEC in 1983:
It is understandable why so many members of the Great British public think of their politicians as venal opportunists. They have shown themselves to flip-flop on key issues over the years and be too often driven off their original paths by cheap opportunity in pursuit of self-preservation and one-upmanship. No wonder our trust levels of politicians are at an all-time low.
Of all the above, Theresa May is the most consistent and the most statesmanlike. Without her in the negotiator’s chair for upcoming Brexit negotiations with the EU, we are in the hands of dangerous flip-floppers. Which is why voting Conservative seems to be the only logical course of action in June. Or we’ll become a laughing stock.