Is Brexit Broken?
Following the referendum held on 23 June 2016 in which 51.9 per cent of those voting supported leaving the EU (approx 17.4 million people) and despite the triggering of article 50 which would have seen us leave on the 29th of March 2019, here we are nearly three years later still full members.
Following a number of major defeats in the house of commons Theresa May was forced to go back to the EU to ask for an extension to allow her time to get a deal through parliament. An extension was granted until the 12th of April to allow her the time needed to get her agreement through. The deal was again rejected by MP’s in Westminster which led to the Prime Minister having to go cap in hand back to Brussels to seek a further extension.
The EU has now extended the UK’s date of leaving to the 31st of October which will mean that the UK may have to hold EU parliamentary elections, something that has got the hard line brexiteers up in arms.
However, threats made to the EU by leading conservatives like Jacob Rees-Mogg could mean that elected UK MEP’s will not be included in any of the EU’s future decision making.
It hasn’t helped matters that Conservative Brexiteer Mark Francois echoed the same threats in a TV interview when he stated, “the UK will become a Trojan horse within the EU if they try to keep us in against our will”, he then went on to quote Moses’ warning to Pharaoh saying “Let My People Go”.
As a result of these threats to veto key policy decisions, the EU have suggested that limitations may well be placed on the UK’s involvement, this will mean that any debates and key votes on future policies will likely be made by the EU27 and that the UK MEP’s will not be allowed to take part in those discussions.
The reality of holding EU elections is getting closer everyday that Westminster cannot agree a deal. Not only will these elections be costly to the taxpayer (approx £200 million), but given the amount of time that we have left in the EU, if we leave on the 31st of October and given that the first sitting is scheduled for the 1st of November, then the newly elected MEP’s will never actually get to sit in the European Parliament. It is also very likely that even if the MEP’s that we send back to the EU take their seats, they may well find that they are frozen out of much of the EU’s parliamentary business, meaning that we will have little or no say in key decisions like budgets and defence that could affect the UK if we decided to remain.
Brexit is well and truly broken and it’s now time for Theresa May to put the question back to the people, either as a second EU referendum or as a confirmatory vote on a deal. The people of the UK have the democratic right to vote on this matter, especially as they now know that brexit in any form cannot be agreed on in the house of commons, which in simple terms means that as things stand right now, brexit cannot be delivered.