The odds of an early General Election were slashed today after money poured in for Britain to go to the polls within the year.
Not surprisingly, the favoured outcome is ‘no majority’ with political parties having done so much to polarise the electorate between the two sides of the Brexit divide.
As the Conservatives push for a disastrous no-deal Brexit, the Liberal Democrats this week voted to cancel Brexit should their party come to power.
Such extremities highlight how hopelessly divided the country has become, divisions which have been largely sown by power-hungry politicians.
You can’t pretend the result didn’t happen
Caroline Lucas noted after the Lib Dem announcement that even though the Brexit referendum didn’t deliver the outcome many of us hoped for, “you can’t pretend the result didn’t happen”.
“You can’t turn back the clock. Nor ignore the 17m who voted Leave,” she said. “This doesn’t strengthen our democracy. It further imperils it”.
But nor can you ignore the 16 million who voted Remain. Nor those who voted to Leave in 2016 in good faith that the country wouldn’t simply be dumped out of the EU without a properly managed deal.
Treat both sides with respect
That’s why Jeremy Corbyn’s policy to stop no-deal and then treat both sides with respect by re-negotiating the deal and having a public vote on the outcome is surely the most sensible one.
As Tom Kibasi wrote in The Guardian yesterday, just as the Tories cannot out-Brexit the Brexit party, Labour cannot out-remain the Lib Dems.
Neither does it need to.
Brexit: you decide
The message “Brexit: you decide” is powerful, it need not be a one-dimensional party defined by Europe.
Labour has the opportunity to become a broad church party campaigning for issues beyond Brexit while keeping the public in control of proceedings on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
In my view that is the only way to break the current parliamentary impasse without relying on extreme political manoeuvres such as suspending parliament, which only serves to deepen the divide rather than close it.
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