Tuesday , May 28 2024

Brexit betrayal – don’t lose faith in democracy yet

The past few weeks and days have been exhausting to say the least. As a passionate Brexiteer I find myself close to simply giving up. On Tuesday 22nd October a Withdrawal Agreement bill was finally passed! However, less than twenty minutes later, parliament decided to vote down the government’s optimistic and ambitious parliamentary timetable. This timetable was designed to enable parliament to approve all of the necessary legislation so we could officially leave on 31st October. A momentous victory for the government was simply shattered by a pathetic parliamentary vote on a timetable designed to move this country forward.

For many Brexiteers, this deal was not perfect but when we see the likes of Arron Banks endorsing it, we must recognise that this is the best we are going to get. I and many other Conservative members were thrilled with Boris’s ‘do or die’ pledge during the Conservative leadership campaign. Despite the chances of us leaving on October 31st rapidly diminishing, Boris has not broken a promise. The Prime Minister managed to get a deal and the country was amazed; but yet again parliament wants more dither and delay.

It is unsurprising that with the constant media coverage of parliament that everyone, young and old, have a strong opinion. The stereotype that young people are not interested in politics is being erased. Regardless of what side of the aisle you stand on Brexit, it has awoken a new generation. I first got involved with politics at 15 with UKIP. At 17 years old during the referendum, I was the UKIP’s youth wing Eastern chairman. Despite all of the negativity and abuse I received both by friends and on the doorstep about being a passionate Brexiteer, I was willing to fight hard during the campaign. The 2016 EU referendum victory was one of those proud moments in life; yet just 3 years on the winning side feels like we have been simply been ignored.

Usually, many of us political lovers are constantly checking the news and updates from twitter or Facebook. However, this week I have simply given up due to the consistent factor that Brexit is frustrated. A vital point here is that if people who are politically involved are getting tired; imagine what the vast majority of the British public make of the embarrassing scenes in Westminster. The blatant naivety from MP’s who vote to delay Brexit is unbelievable. MP’s need to listen to ordinary people who just want this uncertainty and chaos to end and for the country to move on.

As a young Conservative who is feeling angry, I cannot imagine what it must be like to be a Labour and Brexit voter. Jeremy Corbyn’s plans throughout the last 2 years have been nothing but a disgrace. Over 35% of Labour voters backed Brexit, and more than half of Labour constituencies supported Leave. A small positive to take away from this is that some Labour MP’s, such as Lisa Nandy and Caroline Flint, are waking up to the fact that their constituencies still want Brexit to happen.

Nevertheless, the leadership of the Labour Party have let millions of people down. When a general election arrives, Corbyn will really struggle to explain their Brexit position. Reports suggest that in a Shadow Cabinet meeting earlier this week; Sir Kier Starmer said the party should aim for a second referendum and not a general election. The notion that the Shadow Brexit secretary is directly against Labour’s official party policy is humiliating. Although I absolutely despise the Liberal Democrats and their Brexit position of the revocation of Article 50, at least they are honest with the public. Labour need to be honest with their voters and the public by saying they do not want Brexit and will campaign for remain in a second referendum.

Every party is gearing up for an election, and the Labour party are assuming that it will have relatively the same tone as that of 2017. However, they are mistaken as the 2017 election was a clear attempt by Mrs May to increase her majority. The forthcoming election is happening for a valid reason; parliament cannot make up its mind about Brexit. Boris and the Conservatives must adopt a strong stance on Brexit, and need to try to persuade many Brexit Party voters to abandon Nigel Farage.

However, this is far easier said than done. Ever since Boris became leader and achieved a new deal the Brexit party vote share has plummeted from 20% to just 7%. However, recent events mean parliament have just unleashed the Brexit party once again, as more delay and anger will ignite a backlash if the Conservatives do not run a perfect campaign. In my opinion, Nigel Farage should be sensible and only stand Brexit party candidates against Labour constituencies where the Conservatives can’t win. Undoubtedly, the Liberal Democrats will gain seats and some of these will be Conservative marginals in the South West of England. Therefore, a Brexiteer alliance should be considered.

Let me be clear, despite how exhausted and upset some of us may feel, this upcoming General Election is crucial. We should not be ignorant and assume that Boris’s consistent 10+ point lead in the polls means we win a thumping majority; we made that mistake in 2017! I firmly believe that the Labour Party with Jeremy Corbyn as leader will never win a majority in the UK, but logically they may only need 300 seats due to a possible governmental confidence and supply pact with the SNP. If the Conservatives lose this election, then we can say goodbye to Brexit and all the opportunities that it brings. However, if the Conservatives win then we can move forward as a country. Get ready and don’t lose heart quite yet!

About Ted Yarbrough

Ted is the co-founder and editor of the Daily Globe. He is a long-time blogger on British politics and has written a thesis on Thatcherism.

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