Tim Dawson: It’s crunch time

As Parliament prepares to vote on Mrs. May’s Withdrawal Agreement, MPs need to consider what the country expects of them. Does this Withdrawal Agreement properly facilitate Brexit? No. Does it provide a gateway to permanent control by the EU? Absolutely.

We have, as Conservative MP Nigel Evans noted, a Remainer Parliament in a Leave country – and that is the root cause of much of our discontent. Too many MPs voted for the referendum expecting their side of the argument to win, and have found themselves unprepared – incapable, even – of implementing the result. Perhaps they’ve spent too much time conspiring in dimly-lit Westminster bars, but far too many MPs on both sides of the house have managed to convince themselves that derailing Brexit is an acceptable way forward.

It seems likely Parliament will vote down Mrs. May’s Withdrawal Agreement. It is unpalatable to Brexiteers and Remainers. For Brexiteers, it is deeply flawed – a long-winded, fatalistic document of surrender. It does not restore control of our laws and money. It splits up our country. And it features a ‘backstop’ which effectively keeps us tied into the EU forever, in a position of servitude. It’s hard to see how a Brexit-backing MP could vote for it – though the cynical amongst us may wonder if, in a handful of cases, a gong might have helped grease the wheels.

For many of us, Brexit is a matter of high principle – and it has been a genuine surprise watching this “Mother of Parliaments” reduce it to a forum for low skulduggery. The People’s Vote protestors have been shill – but, thankfully, they are few in number. A second referendum would do immense damage to this country; saying to ordinary voters ‘no, you got it wrong – vote our way this time’ makes a mockery of democracy. It will sever the increasingly thin thread of trust between our representatives and those they represent. It must be avoided at all costs.

It’s crunch time for Parliament. When the withdrawal agreement is rejected, it will be time for MPs to reassess their positions. With trust in politicians at an all time low, they should take this opportunity to restore faith and work together to deliver the full and clean Brexit our country voted for. The opportunities are immense.

Tim Dawson is the Editor of Britain’s Future. Follow him on twitter: @tim_r_dawson