For many who just want the politicians to ‘get on with Brexit,’ it is inexcusable that the UK has not left already. Farage has now gone live with the ‘Brexit Party,’ which has as its sole focus to hold the Establishment to account and ensure the UK leaves the EU, no matter what. Amongst all this the Conservative party are in disarray, where Theresa May is finally trying to build a consensus across party lines, where the reality is, due to her own red lines, it is probably doomed from the outset.

So for people wanting Brexit now, what is the road map to achieving it? Parliament have already shown they will block any possibility of a hard Brexit. What this means is that it is only if Parliament approves an outcome that it will happen. With this in mind, in terms of the options, there are only three now that matter:

  • Lab Con Pact: This would only be possible if the post framework agreement effectively locked the UK into a customs union. Given Conservative backbench opposition, it is hard to see how this ends up passing.
  • Alternative Voting: First proposed by Ken Clarke, this would mean that MPs would vote in order of their preferences, where votes get reallocated, until only two remain. One could put as many options as one wanted here and be guaranteed a result. In order to be guaranteed to deliver Brexit, Parliament would have to commit to the winning outcome being binding.
  • Another Referendum: Conservative party polling is now so awful that the chance of another general election is very low, unless the Conservatives lose a confidence motion. As things stand, that is unlikely, especially now the Conservatives have committed to not changing their own rules to allow for another leadership challenge. Therefore in this scenario, The Labour party commit to supporting which ever Brexit the Government want, but only if it passes another referendum. This has already been proposed as an option by Kier Sterner, so not an impossibility either.

Expect the pace to pick up over the next few weeks before the summer recess. The shadow of the European elections looms large and for the Conservatives, they know that entering that election with the Brexit situation still unresolved, could be permanently damaging to the party. Farage in launching his new party is systematically targeting the Tory Blue vote, which is self evident right down to the core support he is already drawing.

Therefore for May, the clock is ticking. Hence why the next steps are relatively clear. Set a deadline for the Labour party and if it fails to yield anything, take the vote back to Parliament, and force the Commons to agree on a version of Brexit. If she can’t achieve that, another referendum will be inevitable.

James Chaplin

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