If next week, as expected, Parliament votes down the May proposal, votes against crashing out of the EU without a deal and votes to seek a postponement of Brexit, what alternatives will Brexitiers have? They can stand by as the UK drifts into a soft Brexit. They could back a referendum and hope to win again. Neither has much attraction for them. A soft Brexit would represent a loss of sovereignty, the very the opposite of the “taking back control” that they promised. A second referendum risks a reversal of Brexit or, at best, a return to the Parliamentary and EU gridlock where we now find ourselves. So is there another and better alternative for them? As this blog has argued, there is. It is for a Brexitier to campaign for the leadership of the Tory party on the promise of blocking this slide into vassalage by calling off the Article 50 process and of going back to the drawing board to prepare a fresh ‘escape plan’. Such a candidate might expect support from many Brexitiers and, given the chance to call off Brexit, most Remainers might be expected to support such a bid. So come on Mr Raab, run for it.
Published by Peter G Harris
Peter G Harris is a barrister and was a senior civil servant responsible for advising ministers in the UK on policy and legislation for reforming the civil law and civil justice system. He is now based at Exeter College in the University of Oxford where he teaches and continues to think about the law as an instrument of public policy. View all posts by Peter G Harris