(Copyright for the above image belongs to Tjeerd Royaards)
One of the biggest problems with politics is politicians. It might sound like an obvious thing to say, but it is most frighteningly true when it comes to the Brexit Negotiations. Having a snap general election just before negotiations were due to open only really had one intention.
And it was not democratic.
The intention behind the election was undemocratic and somewhat cynical. Theresa May wanted to place herself in a position of a stronger majority with the sole purpose of being able to push through her own agenda unchallenged. However, this would not necessarily be in the best interests of the country. What if part of the negotiations favoured one element of UK society but disadvantaged another? Surely that would not, therefore, be in the best interests of the whole UK and should there be challenged by the opposition.
Let’s give an example. What if the negotiations included the debate on hunting and the EU wanted us to allow all forms of fox hunting. Surely the UK – which has previously passed a law to ban this past time – would want to stand up against it. But Theresa May decided to table it an option because she plans to repeal the law in the UK. It could not be trusted in May’s hands to deal with this issue since her part in the managing to push through that law by using the inflated majority vote.
However, since a law was passed against this many years ago, it should not be the business of the incumbent government to act on matters in the EU regarding a legalised Fox Hunting ban when the domestic law had already settled that. So the problem with Brexit negotiations being handled under power comes back to why Theresa May felt she needed more power inside the UK in order to negotiate outside.
Let’s take immigration as a prime example. Not everyone in the UK shares May’s feelings about the immigration position. Many experts have cited a weakening of the pound and rising living costs. The part immigration plays in the UK economy is significant in so many ways – from staffing the NHS, to providing a significant in the education system. If our leading parties cannot agree on the same policies for immigration, how can either of them negotiate the immigration rules after the election?
Surely to get the very best for all under brexit, including those vote for remain, we need a mixed committee based on the best of the highest qualified in the country, and that might mean getting together cross-party top people. Corbyn had been clear that he would be sending Kier Starmer into battle: a qualified QC and a respected voice in the EU. A better man for the job than Corbyn.
But with the mess of a minority government propped up by the DUP – in direct contravention of the Good Friday Agreement – the UK must look like a broken circus tent, flapping out of control in the wind as the people get wet in the rain. Now we could be facing a delay to the negotiations as time rapidly runs out before the British parliament takes its summer holiday.
Throughout all this confusion and worry about the Brexit Negotiations, all those who voted Labour – especially the young voters who heavily supported Corbyn – have been left frustrated that all the issues that mattered to them are being ignored. I don’t think everyone has forgotten the problems with the NHS, housing, homelessness, social care, education…and so on. Labour voters are angry and disappointed.
It’s not just the Brexit negotiations mess that Theresa May needs to tidy up.