We need a new vote on Brexit now

Jon Danzig |

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, says Britain can vote to change the Brexit deal at the next general election, scheduled for June 2022.

But that will be too late. Mr Gove made his comment for an article for The Telegraph because he’s clearly concerned that Theresa May’s Brexit has now gone from hard to soft.

This is about Mr Gove wanting a harder Brexit than Mrs May is now pursuing, and probably more importantly, (to him), he wants to be Prime Minister.

He said that if the May administration proves too cautious, the electorate will be able to demand a more radical split with the European Union at the next general election.

“The British people will be in control. If the British people dislike the agreement that we have negotiated with the EU, the agreement will allow a future government to diverge,” wrote Mr Gove.

But if the British people are really in control, then we should be able to vote on the direction of Brexit now, and not after the deal has been done.

There is confusion and disarray within the Cabinet this weekend as to exactly what Theresa May and her sidekick, David Davis, agreed with the EU’s negotiators.

The thorny issue of avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit was completely side-stepped, to be settled at a future date. And if it can’t be settled, the fallback position according to a joint statement by the UK government and the EU Commission will be for the UK to “maintain full alignment” with the rules of the Single Market and Customs Union.

But this option was completely ruled out this morning by cabinet member Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, who stated categorically that the UK will be leaving the EU, and its Single Market and Customs Union.

Justice Minister Dominic Raab clearly outlined how unclear everything is when he said on BBC’s Newsnight last night:

“You can call it strategic ambiguity, you can call it constructive ambiguity… what I am admitting to you, very openly, and honestly, is that we have agreed principles, but that the details still need to be ironed out on this very bespoke set of issues around Northern Ireland which can’t be dealt with properly and responsibly outside of the context of the broader negotiation on customs and trade and all of those other things we have said all along.”

According to media reports, the UK will pay a “divorce settlement” of between £35 and £39 billion. But EU officials have indicated that no firm figure has yet been agreed.

Who really knows what’s going on?

Certainly not the Cabinet. According to The Telegraph Mrs May is now facing a ‘Cabinet battle’ over Britain’s future relationship with the EU amid claims that a “very soft” Brexit had now become inevitable.

Certainly not the British people. Nobody knew in last year’s referendum what Brexit really meant, and we still don’t know.

The government has admitted that they haven’t even done any in-depth research on the impact of Brexit.

Everyone is in the dark, and it’s into the darkness that the government is now taking us.

Our political leaders are blindly going ahead with Brexit because, they say, that’s what “the people” told them to do.

But “the people” were only offered the option of a one-word answer to the extremely complicated question of whether the UK should leave the EU.

Slightly more people chose ‘Leave’ as their one-word response rather than ‘Remain’. But it was not an informed response, because the country was not informed. On the contrary, we were misinformed.

When you have an operation, you have to sign a form that says you give ‘informed consent’ for the operation to go ahead.

Nobody gave informed consent for Brexit, and yet it is still going ahead.

It’s now time to properly inform the nation, and then for the nation to have an opportunity to properly inform our political masters of the true ‘will of the people’, based on the facts.

Only those who are against democracy would disagree.

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