The Brexit 'deal' proposed by Prime Minister May and her fledgling group of supporters in parliament is doubly dangerous. Firstly, and most obviously, it would not actually take us out of the EU in any meaningful way. Secondly, it is a danger to the unity of the United Kingdom, most notably through the entirely unnecessary proposal to keep Northern Ireland shackled to the regulations of the Single Market, and in doing so introduce internal borders within the UK.
This is not what the British public voted for; not in the EU referendum of June 2016 nor in the General Election of June 2017. In the latter, the mandate given was a specific one tied to the Conservative Party manifesto, which promised to take us out of the EU's Single Market and Customs Union; that we would make our own laws once again and no longer be bound by the EU and its courts.
Under May's proposed deal, none of that is going to happen. She has tossed aside the mandate she was elected to fulfil and made a mockery of our democracy, not to mention the "strong and stable" mantra she fought an election on. Under her proposals Britain will remain bound by the EU's Customs Union; restricted not just from founding our own trade deals but bound to those which the EU chooses to undertake. The European Court of Justice would continue to hold jurisdiction over our own courts for the duration of the 'transition period'. And while all the chaotic negotiations rumble endlessly on and on, we remain bound to an enormous number of unpopular EU directives and institutions such as the disastrous Common Agricultural Policy. It hardly feels like the decision to Leave has been honoured, or will be honoured in any way.
All EU citizens and their families will be free to live and work in the UK for several more years; those who enter before the proposed cut-off date in December 2020 will be free to remain permanently under May's proposals. The concerns of the ordinary British people on immigration, which were a significant motivating factor behind the Leave vote, have been entirely disregarded. Despite the hype about disruption to EU citizens, 85% of them resident in the UK already had a right to reside here post-Brexit, either through living here for five years or through meeting other criteria. The decision to keep our borders open to unregulated free movement for several more years is a slap in the face to the electorate who voted to reject the policy of mass immigration.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland would remain trapped in the regulations of the Single Market. This is not just another sell-out to the EU, it is a fundamental threat to the unity of our United Kingdom. The unionist majority of Northern Ireland have fought harder and endured more hardships to remain British than anybody else, and yet outrageously they have been the first to be cast off in May's Brexit betrayal. Her proposals introduce a new internal border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, while forcing Northern Ireland into alignment with the EU's diktats. This will naturally force Northern Ireland to diverge from the rest of the UK and to align increasingly in its customs and policy with the Irish Republic; a fact which all British unionists ought to be extremely concerned about. Little wonder that the DUP have slammed May for her broken promises.
Many who support Britain's exit from the EU bought into May's strong rhetoric when she first became leader of the Conservative Party; despite the fact that she herself had campaigned for Remain and had supported the European project every day of her political career until she came to power. Those who threw their backing behind her in the hope of achieving British sovereignty have every right to feel used and betrayed.
It does not, however, come as any surprise to this author, who resisted the pro-May fad when it was all the rage amongst those who trusted her to honour her mandate to get us out of the EU. Almost two years ago I argued that Theresa May would not lead Britain out of the EU in any meaningful way. It was an unpopular opinion at the time, but time has now vindicated us.
As a party we have no time for Theresa May or whatever the latest 'fad' might be. Our position is clear and consistent, for we have said it all before: the only way to leave the EU is to elect a majority of MPs with the will to do so. We cannot leave the EU while the old establishment remains in power at Westminster; that is, after all, why they used a referendum to address the issue in the first place. When you vote in a referendum, their seats are safe; put the matter to a General Election where there is a real opposition and it is another story. Sadly, come the General Election of 2017, the referendum had killed off UKIP.
The time has come to build a new movement dedicated to rebuilding Britain as a sovereign, united country; to resist the latest fads and to work consistently towards gaining representation where it really matters: at our national parliament at Westminster. Until that happens, the establishment will continue to sit comfortably in power, and the betrayal will continue.
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