Fringe Box



Letter: How To Deliver Brexit

Published on: 19 Dec, 2018
Updated on: 19 Dec, 2018

From Nils Christiansen

Conservative borough councillor for Holy Trinity

If we have learnt one thing over the last two years, it is that Brexit comes in many forms.

Politicians of all stripes resemble prophets, busy rallying their small bands of followers to roundly condemn all others for failing to believe in the one ‘true’ Brexit.

Brexit has become all-consuming and turned the country completely inward. Remember that the rest of the world cares little about Brexit, and moved on a long time ago. Meanwhile, we are still arguing about Norway, Canada, May’s deal, no deal, etc.

For the majority of people who want to address society’s pressing problems like the overstretched NHS, climate change, pollution, the ageing population, wealth inequality and so on, I have some bad news. The current “Brexit deal” is only the beginning.

The much more important “deal” will be about our future relationship with our nearest neighbour and largest trading partner, and that argument has not even begun. It will drag on for many years and further divide an already divided nation. In the meantime, the country will continue to stagnate, whilst economic and political power will move elsewhere.

Our politicians have failed us. They were elected to serve the best interests of the country, but have managed to get us into a position where, in 100 days time, we will fall off a “no-deal” cliff. Even the most extreme Brexit prophets do not consider this a good outcome and talk vaguely about a ‘managed no-deal’ – as if such a thing could exist.

In the face of disaster, MPs have gone on holiday. Meanwhile, many of our local politicians do not want to even discuss Brexit in the council chamber.

We are currently locked into a long process where we hold none of the negotiating cards, and where we have no view of how we want it to end. This is not taking back control, it is abdicating control.

The bottom line is that the Brexit negotiations have been totally mismanaged. We only ever had one negotiating card, and it was given away at the earliest opportunity. Acknowledging this will require our politicians to do what they find hardest and eat humble pie, but the alternative is to be judged harshly by history.

The only way to do Brexit well is to take control of the process. This can be done through article 50. Parliament should now revoke article 50 (which it can do unilaterally) and announce to the EU that we are still leaving, but on our terms, not theirs.

This would avoid the March 2019 cliff edge, and importantly force the future deal to be discussed at the same time as the terms of leaving. We would also have sufficient time to work out what we wanted the future relationship to be.

If the EU refused to negotiate we would still be on the inside and able to frustrate all EU activity until they came to the table. With sufficient time to do Brexit properly, we would also be able to focus on the other pressing political issues.

Many Brexiteers will undoubtedly be sensing betrayal at this point but, in reality, it is perhaps the only way to avoid negotiating like a vassal state. With disaster looming it is time to stop bickering and finally focus on the good of the country.

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Responses to Letter: How To Deliver Brexit

  1. Pearl Catlin Reply

    December 20, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Well said and appreciated. And after the fiasco in Westminster yesterday we were even further in the mud.
    What is the matter with everyone? Where is our sense of humour?

    Theresa May makes a ridiculous spectre of herself in Pantomime mode and the best Corbyn can do instead of laughing, was to scowl and mutter and make it all worse by denying he said ‘stupid woman’!

    What a load of political midgets they are. Where are the giants of yesteryear? Heaven help us in the future and thank God we saved Europe in the past. Time they remembered that sometimes.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    December 21, 2018 at 11:18 am

    So, let’s get this straight: Cllr Christiansen’s idea is to cancel Brexit in order to leave anyway when the fancy takes us. An ingenious proposal, but completely impractical politics – unless the aim is to confuse the public and vex the 27 EU member countries even more.

    Is Mr Christiansen perhaps a secret anarchist?

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