So far in the history of modern British governments, no plan has been so soundly destroyed as the Brexit deal on January 15. The agreement that has been the centre of the Prime Ministers premiership, has been absolutely thwarted after 2 years of negotiations with the EU by 432 votes to 202. Her own conservative backbenchers voted against her by 3 to 1. At the moment the EU is showing little motivation to renegotiate the deal which is leading Britain stumbling towards March 29th without a deal with the EU in place.
To avoid a catastrophe, the priority must be to ask for more time with the EU. However, even with all the time in the world, it’s looking unlikely that MP’s will ever be able to agree on a deal! With time flying by it’s becoming clearer that potentially a second referendum is necessary, to let the people decide. When the first referendum took place, the people voted to leave the European Union. Most MPs were sent out to Parliament to represent the views of their constituents in leaving. However, as time has dragged on it seems evident that most MPs are acting on personal beliefs and not following through with the results of the referendum. With all the confusion in the media and disagreements between MPs over the specifics that a Brexit divorce deal would contain, it seems increasingly probable that a second referendum is needed to set in stone what the people are now thinking after reading/ researching into what Brexit withholds for Britain and what the Brexit debates have done to our Political hemisphere.
The Prime Minister has piled moral pressure to back her deal upon MP’s as it’s what the people voted for in the 2016 Brexit referendum. The deal she has proposed isn’t as bad as most of her critics have made it out to be, however, it isn’t what we were promised back in 2016. For example, ejection from the single market and the destabilization of Northern Ireland: these weren’t advertised in the Brexit campaign. For MPs to back a deal out of respect for the will of the people, in a referendum which was issued in a vague instruction, is neither democratic or representative.
However, there are ways in which Britain can actually fix this mess. The first step would be to extend the clock – as an ideal deal between the UK and the European Union that all MPs can agree on looks increasingly like it can’t be ironed out in the remaining few weeks we have. If the Prime minister is unable to do this or doesn’t want to, Parliament should give itself the power to do so. Perhaps with more time, a deal might be found in which both Britain and the EU can agree on? It could either be a permanent customs union or a Norwegian style model… something like this could end up sneaking through. However, both would demand compromise like, for example, Britain would demand control of free movement and the right to sign its own trade deals. What we can be certain of is the Brexit we will get won’t be the same as the Brexit we were promised in 2016.