Last Chance to Stop Brexit

by Gerard Delanty

It is now becoming clear that Teresa May and her government are implementing Brexit to achieve a new wave of neo-liberal globalisation. They must be stopped. They want to trigger A50 and leave the EU in order to for the UK to become a global trading nation. The outcome of the Referendum of 23rd June 2016 is an excuse to achieve this insane objective.

Clearly May is not remotely interested in the reasons why people voted to leave the EU any more than she cares about the 48 per cent you voted to remain in the EU. This is also why she has been opposed to the referendum outcome being debated and voted on in parliament. Now, we see the pathetic sight of the Prime Minster seeking deals with two of the world’s tyrants to realise the myopic dream of Britannica riding the waves of the world’s economies.

Parliament has failed on two counts. First, it made a historical error in allowing the EU Referendum Act pass through parliament in the second half of 2016. The MP David Cameron has been rightly vilified for initiating the act in the first place in order to placate the Euro-sceptical wing of his party and ward off the danger posed by UKIP. That is all well-known and MPs would undoubtedly like it to remain as simple as that. However the reality is that this poorly conceived act was voted through parliament with little scrutiny (in June 2015  544 MPs voted for it, against 53) and it received it final approval by parliament in December 2015 with 316 MPs voting for it and 53 against – which leaves a lot of MPs who did not vote either way.

While the majority of MPs were for Remain, since the 24th June 2016 these Remain MPs, with some exceptions, remained strangely silent and did not press for parliament to vote on the outcome. Why is this? Why did they wait until the courts enforced the government give parliament the final say? Was it because they realised their mistake; or because they accepted the bizarre order of the party leader Jeremy Corbyn to support leave; or because they believed that the outcome was decisive?

The outcome is not decisive, as is now clear for everyone to see. The majority of 3.8% does not offer a justification to embark on the project that the government has in mind. A minority of British citizens support the government. Many of those who voted to Leave did so as a protest against globalisation, which is now likely to be on a different scale and with no obvious advantages for anyone.

MPs have a duty to assert their authority over the government and to vote with their consciousness. There is some sign that a number of Labour MPs are waking up to the spectre of disaster that will unfold in the next years unless the government is stopped.

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About g.delanty@sussex.ac.uk

Professor of Sociology and Social & Political Thought, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
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