Brexit

The Tory party’s Brexit betrayal is suicidal

BY Gerald Warner   /  10 July 2018

The Conservative Party must never again be entrusted with the governance of Britain. As used to be said of failing Chinese dynasties, it has exhausted the mandate of Heaven. The same applies, of course, to the zombie Labour Party, now relegated to the role of a Soviet Era historical re-enactment society.

That British politics has become reduced to a dichotomy between a clique of self-entitled EU fellow travellers and a gang of displaced extras from a grainy Eisenstein film signals the demise of parliamentary government as we have known it. The British political settlement, demonstrably, has run its course and new systems of government are needed to defend our liberties. That is the clear message of the Brexit debacle.

Behind all the sound and fury and the smoke of battle, the Brexit catastrophe is perfectly straightforward and simple to understand. The path to disaster is easy to trace. On 23 June, 2016 the British electorate registered, by a clear majority of more than a million votes, in by far the largest democratic consultation ever held in all our history, its determination to leave the European Union.

There were no qualifications, no ifs or buts; the weasel notion of “soft” Brexit had not even been confected on the day of the referendum. It did not occur to anybody, Leave or Remain, that Brexit might embrace continued membership of some EU institutions. Why would it? The objective was to recover national sovereignty and that is incompatible with membership of the Single Market or Customs Union, or remaining under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

To pretend otherwise is a downright lie. The British knew perfectly well what they were voting for: a clean break with the European Union and a resumption of that national sovereignty which Britons had taken for granted until 1973. To any government with the slightest pretensions to being democratic, this was a towering, unambiguous and imperative mandate for early and complete exit from the European Union.

As such, it directly contradicted the prejudices of the elites in politics, the mainstream media and the deep state. After preliminary, insincere professions of respect for the democratic verdict, the Entitled Ones embarked on a campaign to reverse Brexit. The judiciary was invoked to give legal support to the establishment and a huge variety of illegitimate interpretations of “soft” Brexit were manufactured to muddy the waters. It was the Conservative Party, however, that chiefly created the obstacles to obeying the wishes of the electorate.

It was rightly acknowledged that David Cameron, having led the Remain campaign, could not continue as prime minister, so he resigned. The evident, paramount need was for a prime minister who was a convinced Leaver and who would robustly pursue Brexit. Instead, the Tories chose Theresa May who should have been considered ineligible, having backed Remain. She then showed her colours by allowing uber-Remainer Philip Hammond to occupy the Treasury. Beyond that, she constructed a Cabinet in which Remainers were in the majority.

It beggars belief that the Tory Party, tasked with implementing a clean break with the EU, should have produced a pro-Remain Prime Minister, Chancellor and Cabinet. It should have been axiomatic that there ought to have been no Remainers in a cabinet that for the next five years would be almost exclusively preoccupied with making a success of Brexit. That would have been perfectly fair, on the analogy of a general election when the losers occupy no offices of state.

In fact, it would have been reasonable to award a few ministries not intimately related to Brexit to moderate Remainers with appropriate talents, provided they gave a solemn undertaking to support Brexit unreservedly and could expect to be sacked if they breached that pledge. That is not dictatorial or authoritarian: it is an ancient constitutional axiom called Collective Cabinet Responsibility. Whatever happened to that principle?

Just as the Prime Minister should have been someone dedicated to achieving a clean Brexit, the Cabinet should have been united in the same cause. Instead, Brexit ministers were marginalized while a civil servant, Olly Robbins, dictated an ever-softer Brexit to the point where the Chequers sell-out became Government policy.

Officials have always attempted to influence ministers (“Yes, Minister” was the satirical exposé of that tendency); but Robbins’s role in the Brexit debacle goes far beyond that and shows the deep state emerging from the shadows to trash the will of 17.4 million voters.

The reality is that the commanding heights in the Conservative Party and Government are held by intransigent Remainers. It was they who chose the via dolorosa of Article 50 – the obstacle course devised by arch-Remainer Lord Kerr to wear down any country presuming to leave the EU – when a simple statement of intent unilaterally to repeal the European Communities Act and associated legislation, in anticipation of conducting trade with the EU at least temporarily under WTO rules, would have served notice on Brussels that we meant business and had no intention of indulging their Article 50 shenanigans.

But that would have been illegal, wail Remainers. Only in the sense of being against the rules of an organization we were leaving. What member resigning from a golf club feels bound any longer by its possibly vexatious rules? Instead, we not only submitted to the death of a thousand cuts represented by Article 50, but agreed to pay £40bn of imaginary debt to the tottering EU. From the moment we caved in to that Danegeld, of which even the ultra-Remainer House of Lords conceded we did not owe a penny, the Brussels hoods knew our leaders were set on betraying us and would submit to any level of bullying.

If the Tory Party, traditionally associated with patriotism and a sympathy with the popular will, refuses to deliver Brexit, then it is doomed. It is inhabited now by pygmies: the vulgar harassment inflicted on cabinet ministers at Chequers, treated like children with their telephones confiscated and threats of replacement by a new and supposedly talented generation demonstrated the banality of a once great institution. How would Pitt the Younger, Wellington or Disraeli have interacted with colleagues or, more importantly, the failing buffoons in Brussels?

One outrage stands out from the Chequers debacle. May shared her customs plans with Angela Merkel before her own ministers were made privy to them. The Chancellor of Germany had insight into a key British foreign policy document ahead of the British Cabinet. Nothing could better illustrate the Remainer mentality.

All this is a betrayal too far by the Conservative Party. No true Tory, no Eurosceptic, no patriot could lend their suffrage to that coterie of scoundrels. Sometime between now and 2022 those who have so arrogantly attempted to reverse the verdict of the British public will be obliged to keep a further rendezvous with the electorate. It is quite possible that, by then, their betrayal will have provoked the launch of a mass movement to enforce Brexit and remove the legacy parties from power. Whatever happens, for the Tories it will mean annihilation.