We are halfway through another turbulent week in British Politics. A week of coups and chicanery. Of Dominic Grieve pretending he isn’t trying to reverse Brexit and Yvette Cooper trying to tie us into another 10 months of pointless Parliamentary peregrination.
For many Brexiteers, being forced, two and a half years on, to replay the same arguments with Remainers as we had during the referendum has become an exhausting experience. There are only so many times you can explain the legal relationship between the EU and its member states only to be told there’ll be no avocados in Hampstead come March 29th without it getting a little wearisome. Fortunately – left with no other choice than to put up or shut up – Remain MPs have decided to make a move. They have decided, in their words, to “take back control” (geddit? Clever).
I’m backing both #DominicGrieve Amendment & @YvetteCooperMP Bill it’s a one shot piece of legislation that can be amended & filibustered so we need Grieve’s as well to ensure #NoDeal & Parly takes back control #Brexit Please back both @NickyMorgan01 @NickBoles et al
— Anna Soubry MP (@Anna_Soubry) January 22, 2019
It has gone down very badly indeed.
Support for ‘No Deal’ (actually, of course, a WTO Deal – the default position, which we make an enthusiastic case for on this site) is up. Support for another referendum – never strong – is in decline. Ordinary voters are increasingly alarmed by the sight of their Parliamentary representatives tearing up their promises and trying to tie the UK into the EU against its will. To cap it all, Guy Verhofstadt has announced jubilantly Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel’s support for a European Union army.
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) November 13, 2018
Leaving the European Union always was, at its heart, about restituting sovereignty. It was the British people saying that we do not need a supranational bureaucracy to hand us down instructions and tell us what to do; we can look after our own affairs. It has been sad seeing so many MPs, who stood in 2017 on Leave manifestos, respond with such negativity and confusion to the faith that’s been shown in them.
But Grieve and Cooper’s behaviour has proven a step too far. Democratically, Remain MPs trying to seize control and reverse Brexit are running on empty. They have no mandate for their activity; and they are risking massive constitutional violence. Our system relies on honour and consent, and the majority of MPs sticking by their commitments. It cannot work if huge numbers go rogue once elected.
Happily, their activity is backfiring. The public do not want a second vote. They do not want MPs elected to deliver Brexit working to deliver Remain. They do not want a general election. As the case for Remain gets weaker by the day, Brexiteers should take heart. Only 65 days to go.
Tim Dawson is the Editor of Britain’s Future. Follow him on twitter: @tim_r_dawson