One of the comments left on the Mail on Sunday website this weekend in response to a Brexit article by Lord Lamont sums up the current mood amongst Brexiteers across the UK. There is real and mounting anger out there at the prospect of Theresa May sticking to her unpopular, half-in, half-out blancmange of a Brexit deal known as Chequers:
“Those of us who voted leave have had our democratic majority compromised enough. One step further and 17.4 million of us will become decidedly unpredictable. Most of us will either shun democracy entirely or look at radical alternatives to the LibLabCon. A plague on all your houses if you betray our democratic decision.”
Theresa May became an MP in 1997. Is her memory of those earlier years in her political career fading? Has she not witnessed democracy in action at close hand?
Back in September 2002, 400,000 people from across the country – many who had never attended a protest before in their lives – marched through Central London to highlight the needs of rural communities. This was before ubiquitous Internet. This was double the number who attended the biggest poll tax protest twelve years earlier.
The Prime Minister should be aware that, once again, the countryside – which overwhelmingly voted for Brexit – is ready to march. This time the numbers will be huge. Although her Government’s eyes are more focused on the M20, the last thing she needs is a bunch of tractors blocking the M25.
Brexiteers voted, as the Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech recognised, to stop free movement and be outside of EU control – thus out of the single market and out of the customs union – in a place where we could establish free trade deals around the globe. For Government for the British people by the British people. So, where is that deal?
Lamont’s article quotes Mark Harper MP – a former Tory chief whip, a former Remainer and a May loyalist who “is particularly well-qualified to assess the mood of the Commons – and his answer is not good news for the Prime Minister. Chequers, he says, has ‘no prospect of success’ in getting through the House. The Prime Minister should ‘evolve’ her plans into a Canada-style agreement.”
May’s only way out is a Canada-style agreement with a promise to sort out the inflated Irish border problem with a Great National Competition for a technological solution within a very limited time period – hardly a challenge on a par with any problems this nation has faced in the past. Should be a breeze.
The Commons – when faced with a no deal + Corbyn, or Canada +++ – will go for the latter. They will have to. They will feel the proverbial pitchforks on their situpons like at no time before in their parliamentary careers.
Step up to the plate, Mrs May.
The prize – or the inevitable consequence of well-organised, game-changing Brexiteer escalation – awaits.