Former DexEU minister George Bridges with a withering takedown of May’s Brexit dithering in the Lords this afternoon:
“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 of the future relationship with the EU?
My fear is that we will get meaningless waffle in the political declaration in October. The implementation period will not be a bridge to a clear destination, it will be a gang plank into thin air. The EU will have the initiative in the second stage of the negotiatons 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 EU, we need to know the government’s answers to these central questions. They go to the heart of the matter, the powers of this parliament and parliamentary sovereignty.
The government must be honest with themselves and the public about the choices that we face, and then the Prime Minister and the 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.”
He is spot on…