There is No Mandate for Hard Brexit | Muhammed Hussain

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With a disastrous General Election result for Theresa May and a deeply wounded Tory party, there is no mandate for a hard Brexit. From strong and stable to weak and wobbly – that sums up the electorates’ verdict on Theresa May’s vision of Brexit.

At the steps of 10 Downing Street, Theresa May claimed, in April, that she needed a strong mandate to ‘strengthen her hand’ in the Brexit negotiations. Something which EU officials repeatedly said would be irrelevant to the negotiations.

A hung parliament as the outcome and an ultra-tiny majority propped up by the Democratic Unionist Party, hard Brexit is now in tatters. With the resounding gains made by the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats, there is no democratic basis for a hard Brexit. On the ITV News General Election coverage, George Osborne, the former Chancellor and Evening Standard editor, stated that ‘hard Brexit went into the rubbish bin tonight’. An analysis which many other commentators, such as Alistair Campbell, agreed with.  

However, there has to be a way forward. A compromise between Remainers and Leavers (although difficult to achieve) is the logical way forward.

Britain is more divided than ever, it has become ungovernable. A sharp dichotomy has emerged among the British population as a result of this snap election. The young versus old. The rich versus poor. The experts versus ideologically driven fanatics.

It is now time for party leaders to reach out, not just to their own support base but also attract other demographics. Cross party alliances have to be established in the national interest. Yes, a hefty political price will be paid (as Nick Clegg did). However, it is now time to abandon political tribalism, as urged by Professor AC Grayling.   

Political parties have to come together from left, right and centre to deliver a Brexit deal in the interest of the British public. A deal for which people voted for on June 23rd last year.

This may seem like a far-fetched and unattainable target – but it isn’t. We just have to listen to experts.

One of the most efficient strategies would be to adopt the recommendations of the Exiting the EU Committee, a cross party parliamentary select committee chaired by Labour’s Hilary Benn. A committee which has based its findings on expert opinion. It made headlines in the last parliament for concluding that the claim ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ is ‘unsubstantiated’.

Listening to the Exiting the EU Committee means that Remainers have to abandon their wish for a second EU referendum. While I am a hard-core Remainer, the practical aim is to work towards a soft Brexit, which will be beneficial to Britain’s economy. 

Voters have rejected a hard Brexit – the Conservatives should accept this verdict or call another General Election.

Muhammed Hussain is a writer for Student Voices and a student at University of Roehampton. 

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1 comment:

  1. What nonsense, the only way forward is Brexit, the objective is to be able to be competitive in the world that means as clean a break as possible from the EU Ponzi scheme.


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