By Robert J Davies
HOW alarming that operational planning for No Deal has been scrapped. What does that tell us about the commitment of our hopelessly untrustworthy Prime Minister ever to deliver a Brexit worth having?
The plain fact is that unless we keep No Deal as an option, there will almost certainly be no Brexit. Not at the end of June; not on October 31st; not in a year’s time; not ever. MPs are not willing to pass May’s Withdrawal Agreement. The EU is not willing to draft any alternative. So the default option now, tragically for the British people and for our concept of democracy, is to remain stuck in the European Union. For good.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Brexit is unlikely to happen for as long as Theresa May stays in office. That will be a disaster on numerous levels and will almost certainly end up destroying the Conservative Party. Perhaps we have arrived at a watershed moment in British history when the old ways of doing things must give way to new solutions. Certainly, we are at desperately low ebb. Our two main parties are both divided from top to bottom over Brexit – an issue so important in people’s minds that it dwarfs all others. Logically, there should be one main party which believes passionately in Leave and another which believes in Remain. It is wholly unsatisfactory that the two big beasts should seek to face both ways on this.
What no-one can change, of course, is the standpoint of the European Union and its implacable intransigence. It is unthinkable that Brussels will allow us any kind of deal which does not hobble us by means of some blackmailing device like the Irish backstop. This has nothing to do with peace and tranquillity in Ulster and everything to do with wrecking our ability to strike lucrative trade deals across the world. The huge fear for Brussels is that an independent United Kingdom proves itself capable of thriving economically outside its restrictive orbit. What then, is the point of being members, the remaining 27 states will ask? What indeed.
Therefore, to leave on the basis of No Deal is seemingly the only logical way to deliver a Brexit worthy of the name. It is vital that a Brexiteer Prime Minister with the belief, passion and courage to drive this through is appointed swiftly. Many more months of Theresa May’s grim tutelage and the process will be dissolved altogether with catastrophic consequences for society.
Without question, Britain is becoming an increasingly divided and unstable country. Mass immigration and the creed of multiculturalism is weakening our sense of identity and self-belief. No-one seems to know who we are any more. Countless times, left-wing opponents will tweet the RCM account in response to our pledge to uphold the primacy of British culture and values with the scornful demand that we explain what we mean by that. The very essence of who we are as a people is undermined by a willingness to allow hordes of newcomers from across the globe to settle here on an equal footing and call themselves British while retaining their own culture and values. Thus, with every passing year, the grip of the host community on its own land becomes weaker.
Brexit would help with that. We would gain better control over immigration and a greater sense of our homeland being in our hands for us to shape. That was surely what 17.4 million people wanted when they took that brave leap into the unknown. They wanted to reclaim their country. They wanted to be back in the driving seat – looking after their island home as they see fit. At last, the ordinary folk of this land had a chance to strike a blow against the global elites happy to swish away any last resistance to their goal of destroying the nation state and the concept – among European people at least – of a distinctive identity.
It is heart-breaking and shocking to find that the verdict we gave in 2016 is now being batted further into the future and at ever graver risk of simply being scrapped or diluted to a worthless puddle. What will the consequences be for a country which desperately needs to end this tawdry, divisive, stressful process and come together and heal? Any resolution to Brexit which amounts to a betrayal of the referendum will usher in a truly poisonous era in the history of this island nation. A civil war is unlikely – we are British after all – but a very uncivil war of words is a certainty. It’s not going to be pleasant.
Mainstream politics will have been shown demonstrably to have failed and a miserable, despairing British people will look for other, populist entities to step forward and offer solutions. Perhaps that will present an opportunity for groups such as the new Brexit Party, or UKIP once again or indeed, ourselves. If there were such expectations, we would certainly not wish to shirk them. But nor, particularly, do we seek them out. The Rural Conservative Movement does not hope to become a political party as such, merely to provide a thoughtful platform from which to observe actual political parties, in particular the Conservative Party itself and help it rediscover its soul. If any good could emerge from the Brexit debacle, from our point of view, it would be this: for the Tories to find themselves again as the leading force of conservatism – living up to their name and not seeking constantly to ape Labour’s obsession with identity politics and minorityism.
The starting point must be a new, strong leader, wholly committed to a proper Brexit and determined to let nothing stand in the way of it. If the Tories do, belatedly, deliver properly on the 2016 referendum then they will not only offer this country the fresh start it so badly needs but will give themselves a new lease of life as well. That’s surely a better fate than self-destruction.
Robert J Davies is the founder of the Rural Conservative Movement, a writer and former newspaper journalist