Is it just me, or has the government gone quiet on Brexit?
It might just be that I’ve had a weekend away from politics, or that the government is still getting over their traumatic experience welcoming Trump to the UK, but I feel like the government has gone quiet on Brexit.
There have of course been more resignations over the last few days. Tory MPs, ministers, and Parliamentary Private Secretaries appear to be dropping like flies. Robert Courts, the MP who replaced David Cameron as member for Witney, has said he would resign as Parliamentary Private Secretary to express his disapproval of the government’s Brexit position.
Conservative MP Scott Mann has also resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Treasury, over his concerns about a ‘watered down Brexit’.
With an October deadline looming, I would have thought the government would be in full swing at this point – ready with a workable plan and telling the EU to accept it, or face us leaving with no deal. But instead, Theresa May appears to be warning of the possibility of no Brexit at all.
It seems that the Prime Minister is warning Members of Parliament that unless they back her Chequers deal, Brexit might not happen at all. And yes, that’s a possibility – but it’s only a possibility because that’s what May will do if she doesn’t get the support she wants. For her, it’s Brexit Lite or no Brexit at all. That’s her betrayal.
Amongst the turmoil and bickering, too, her new Brexit Secretary didn’t even bother to turn up to EU talks. The new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt skipped the Foreign Affairs Council, and the new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab did not attend the start of his first round of Brexit negotiations today, instead opting to attend a summer drunks event hosted by FREER, a free-market think tank.
Are these the priorities of our politicians? For once, the Labour Party is right when they tell Raab to ‘rethink his priorities’.
All this happens while Justine Greening MP and former Prime Minister Tony Blair push for a second referendum with three options – including the option to cancel Brexit altogether.
I think this tells us something. The politicians have been gearing up for this scenario all along. Theresa May never intended to give us Brexit, and has now landed us in a position whereby we might accept her Brexit Lite deal, or face no Brexit at all. The small minority of Remainers in Parliament have very little power over her, and with her own Members of Parliament proposing that we ask people if they even want the Brexit negotiations to continue, I know the great betrayal started quite some time ago.
It seems to me that the government is in fact going quiet. They’re either burying their heads in the sand and hoping something happens – perhaps May is expecting a leadership challenge and she’s playing it cool – or they know that Parliament will vote down the Chequers deal and they’re willing to let it happen.