Brexit Update

April 26, 2019

In truth very little has progressed this week with Brexit, and it's a source of great frustration to those of us in Parliament who would have seen it done and dusted long ago so that we can all move on.


The ball is in the PM's court really. Something has to change because clearly there is no majority for her deal. She can only get a majority if the deal changes, and that requires her to change her approach, or a change of leader if she can't do that herself. In both cases that's up to her. There are no formal mechanisms to remove her, there is no official way of forcing her to change path - in both cases MPs only have ways to perhaps apply pressure, but no decision making power.


I said to Senior Aides in No10 after the 2017 General Election that in the context of Brexit it's impossible to keep everyone happy, that we should therefore pick a side - that's Leave because we made a promise - and deliver. You can't fudge it down the middle because it's a binary choice - In or Out - there's no third option that both sides are happy with.


Its difficult and it's divisive, but at this point that is inevitable, and only when it's done can you begin to rebuild politics and heal those divisions... You can't bring people back together whilst we're all still arguing and this drags on. It has to be done if we are to move forward.


I was right then and it's still true now, though it's been made far more complicated by the delay and frustration. That means it's less simple, and delivering Brexit might now require a new PM and/or a General Election to make it happen. My view is the same as it was then; we promised we'd leave in a meaningful way (money, borders and laws/no deal better than a bad deal etc) so we need to crack on and do it, accept that some people won't like it but at this point that will be the case whatever we do, and once it's done we can start the process of putting everything back together.

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