On the impossible job of being Prime Minister after Theresa May, and where the next driver of the crazy Brexit bus may take us to.
First published in May 2019.
Well, she has finally reached the end of the road...
This morning, May 24, Prime Minister Theresa May stood behind the lectern outside Number 10 and delivered to the nation a speech in which she announced her intention to resign on June 7.
The emotion in her voice was obvious to anyone watching as she listed the things that she believes her party has achieved since her predecessor David Cameron came into power in 2010. Stating that the job had been the honour of her life to hold, she turned and headed back inside.
Anything the Conservative Party has or hasn’t achieved under Theresa May over the last three years on the multitude of issues that have faced the country have, let’s be honest, taken a back seat to the one issue the majority of the country cares about. Our old friend – Brexit.
Now, I voted to leave the EU along with 17.4 million other people, and in the three years since the referendum I have, after a great deal of fact-checking and soul searching, changed my mind. Having held a view on both sides of the debate on this issue, I can tell you that this matters. Massively. It is just not going to go away.
However, this situation simply cannot go on forever. We need a Prime Minister who can take the country forward on this issue and who will have its best interests at heart. I have to say that I am worried.
We are in limbo. Stood at the end of a road that is now branching off in several directions.
The first of these is the road Mrs May has been trying so hard to drive us down since the tail end of last year – her Withdrawal Agreement. It is now obvious that this road, as far as parliament is concerned, is blocked. There is simply no way our new PM will be driving us down there. In trying to find a compromise that appealed to both Leavers and Remainers alike, she has pleased absolutely no-one. To Leavers, it just wasn't Brexit at all, and to Remainers, it was nowhere near as good as the deal we currently have with the European Union. So, forget this route. It is closed. Permanently.
The second road is a brand new deal negotiated by our new PM. To me, this also seems massively unlikely for a few simple reasons. Firstly, the EU has repeatedly stated that renegotiating the terms of our withdrawal is out of the question. We have our deal. We take it or leave it. Secondly, any deal that would be negotiated would once again be highly unlikely to pass through parliament. MPs are becoming ever more entrenched in their views, and I just cannot see enough of them abandoning their viewpoints for a deal to pass. And lastly, we are running out of time. We are due to leave on October 31 with no guarantee the EU will extend the deadline beyond that.
The way I see it, there are now only three roads to take from here. A negotiated deal with our closest friends has been rejected, and a new deal of any kind is just unlikely to happen – never mind be put to parliament. So, here are our options:
- We revoke Article 50;
- We leave with no deal;
- We have a second referendum on our EU membership.
The first option is what I believe to be by far the best option. It stops the madness of this situation in its tracks and enables us to move forward with every other issue we face today.
The second option is what I believe to be by far the worst option. It would create massive uncertainty about our future place in the world and put our economy and thousands of jobs at risk, as well as creating an uncertain future for the many EU citizens living here and the many UK citizens living abroad. Let’s also not forget the substantial potential damage to the Good Friday Agreement.
The third option is what I believe to be the most likely option at this point. However, what the options on the ballot paper would be is anybody’s guess.
This whole situation is just so frighteningly worrying to so many of us. I feel like I am riding on a bus with a driver who is drunk and swerving all over the road, surrounded by people I don’t know, some of which are enjoying the chaos and cheering him on to drive faster while the rest of us are pleading with him to stop.
Salvation is right there, in front of us – Revoke Article 50.
The abyss is right there, in front of us – Leave with no deal.
The new Prime Minister, whoever they may be, will be in the position to take the right road and do what is without a doubt the best thing for our country and end this. Or at least hand the decision back to us. However, I cannot help but worry that they will blindly keep swerving the bus wildly down the road until it crashes.
Please, stop the bus! I want to get off...🔷
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