Former DExEU Minister lays into the UK Government over Brexit
Former DExEU minister, Lord Bridges of Headley, has attacked the Government over its Brexit strategy during a debate in the House of Lords.
The Tory peer who has first-hand knowledge of the Government’s handling of Brexit said:
What is the country we wish to build once we have left the European Union?
Only once we have answered this question can we properly and fully answer the second question – what agreement do we want to strike with the European Union? What do we value more, parliamentary sovereignty and control, or market access and trade?
Four months on, and there are still no clear answers to these basic, critical questions. All we hear, day after day, are conflicting, confusing voices. If this continues, and ministers cannot agree among themselves on the future relationship the Government wants, how can this Prime Minister possibly negotiate a clear, precise heads of terms for the future relationship with the EU?
My fear is that we will get meaningless waffle in a political declaration in October. The implementation period will not be a bridge to a clear destination. It will be a gangplank into thin air.
The EU will have the initiative in the second stage of the negotiations and we shall find ourselves forced to accept a deal that gives us access to EU markets, but without UK politicians having a meaningful say over swathes of legislation and regulation.
Some may say this outcome would not be the end of the world. Some may say it’s inevitable.
My point today is this. At this pivotal moment in our history, we cannot, we must not, indulge in that very British habit of just muddling through. With under 300 working days until we leave the European Union, we need to know the Government’s answers to these simple questions.
He also said:
The government must be honest with themselves and the public about the choices we face. And then the Prime Minister and her cabinet must make those choices. As has been said, to govern is to choose, and as we face the biggest challenge this country has faced since the Second World War, keeping every option open is no longer an option.
This closing paragraph chimes with something we wrote about recently. Both Labour and Tory politicians have adopted unrealistic Brexit policies because they are trying to keep both sides of the debate happy. We agree with Lord Bridges, the time has come for our leaders to make the hard choices necessary and accept the consequences of that.
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