Parliament, again, is deadlocked. Stuck in a tiresome cycle of internecine warfare and anti-democratic obstruction, the Prime Minister has now turned to Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to find a way out of the impasse.
A number of Parliament’s proposals – key, it seems, to Labour’s demands – centre around the United Kingdom remaining in a customs union with the EU. This would be disastrous. It fails to deliver on key promises made during both the referendum campaign and the 2017 General Election, and restricts many of the opportunities that Brexit – the will of the British people – offers.
— Tony Tassell (@TonyTassell) April 3, 2019
A customs union with the European Union post-Brexit is the option favoured by those who are risk averse, unambitious, and do not believe in this country or its peoples’ ability to compete and trade on the world stage. True, we may be but a small collection of islands – but the modern Western world is very much created in Britain’s image. English is the language of business. Our legal system is imitated and admired. And, crucially, we remain the fifth largest economy on the planet.
Any form of continued customs union would seek only to maintain existing trade with the EU at a time when it is an ever-diminishing proportion of our national trade, and would limit – likely to a greater rather than lesser extent – our ability to forge new trade deals and partnerships with other parts of the world: economies and markets that are growing rather than in terminal decline.
Yet this is what many of our “representatives” yearn for, and what Corbyn is reported to be demanding in return for helping the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement pass the Commons. For that, bewilderingly, remains Theresa May’s aim after 3 defeats (and counting). The agreement itself is already terrible, giving away virtually every element of power and bargaining that we as a country hold. The cross-party intention now seems to be to make it even worse.
The only way Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will agree is if she bows to staying in the Customs Union. This means the trade policy of the word's 5th largest economy will be controlled by 27 countries in whose interests it is to come to trade agreements to benefit them not us. Mad.
— Iain Dale (@IainDale) April 2, 2019
As the shenanigans in Westminster continue, the people of Britain grow ever more angry and weary with these political games. And rest assured, the entire political class will be held to account: the public recognise that Brexit does not split along traditional party lines. They are not and will not lay the blame solely at the door of warring factions within the Conservative Party, but with the entirety of Westminster for seeking to ignore their will, sell them out, and keep them under the subjugation of Brussels. It’s time for leadership with real strength and stability. It’s time to leave the EU without a deal.
Aaron Brown is a cultural historian and commentator, specialising in comedy. Follow him on twitter: @AaronMLB