Brexit: Endgame

Decision time for Brexit. Theresa May has negotiated the worst deal for Britain since Neville Chamberlain came back from Munich in 1938. It’s time for a change of Prime Minister and for MPs to deliver what the people voted for.


Decision time for Britain’s future outside Europe.
Do these scenes in Paris predict the future for London if MPs back away from Brexit?

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. The streets of Paris are speckled with blood and debris… not for the first time in recent history.
It’s another sign of populist sentiment sweeping across Europe… anger at a political elite, distant and condescending towards ordinary people.

Across the Channel, parliament prepares to give its verdict on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. Few doubt the outcome, so it’s possible the government will chicken out and cancel the vote.

The big problem is MPs are overwhelmingly in favour of remaining inside the EU. Theresa May doesn’t believe in Brexit, which is why she’s come up this disastrous deal, the worst piece of British diplomacy since Chamberlain returned from Munich.

She’s agreed to give away £39 billion pounds, as well as sovereignty over Northern Ireland in exchange for what? We don’t even have a trade deal.

So, what happens next… a second referendum?

The only people calling for that are those who never accepted the outcome of the first referendum. They want a re-run. It’s even more democratic to do it twice, they say. In which case, let’s have a third and a fourth referendum too.

If there is another referendum, it would be the political elite sticking up two fingers to the people. I fear the people will respond in kind.

The riots in Paris will cross the Channel… the likes of which we haven’t seen since the days of Mrs Thatcher’s poll tax.

Also, a rise in attacks on Muslims, Poles, Romanians, Jews, black people… anyone perceived as not traditionally British. It would be a boost in recruitment for extremist groups, some of whom would be elected to the European Parliament next May, because those elections would be back on.

Besides, what would be the question? EFTA, EEA, Norway Plus, Canada Plus Plus… a multiple choice questionnaire of political jargon.

Let me talk about the so called Norway Plus option. This is where the UK technically is outside the EU, but everything stays virtually the same. A bit like getting divorced, but sleeping in the same bed.

We would still pay dues. Still be subject to a European court. Still no control over immigration. The only difference is – we have no vote and no say. Brussels would fax us new laws, which we would be obliged to implement.

This would be a national humiliation, the worse kind of compromise. Norway Plus is worse than staying inside the EU.

You cannot be a little bit pregnant. We are either in or out; and we voted out. We were warned there would be economic consequences and we still voted out.

This is what should happen…

Mrs May must go. A Brexiteer like David Davis can step in as caretaker Prime Minister. The UK can then agree a framework for a Canada-style trade deal with the EU, where we are a completely separate, sovereign nation.

Northern Ireland border issues can be dealt with by administrative and technological arrangements.

We can have a two-year transition phase to this, starting on March 29th next year.

But if the EU doesn’t agree to this, or parliament refuses to back it, then we must be prepared to crash out with no deal, saving ourselves as much as £39 billion and then move onto World Trade Organisation rules.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

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Journalist, broadcaster, media executive, academic, author.