Yesterday the Opposition parties and 17 Remain Conservatives voted for amendments to legislation to try to ensure Parliament has to meet in September and October to give them more time to try to delay or cancel Brexit. They call this taking back control and advocating Parliamentary democracy! It is of course the opposite. Labour and Conservative MPs were elected in 2017 on a manifesto for each party that promised to implement Brexit.
Parliament voted by a large majority to send the Article 50 Notification of our exit, which means in European law we will leave on 31 October. I remember explaining to the Commons then that was the decision point, the moment Parliament legislated to leave. Now they wish to tear up their promises and refuse to take back control of our laws, our money and our borders despite the referendum.
I do not think even this discredited Parliament full of Labour MPs and a few Conservatives who have ratted on their promise to implement the decision of the people will find a way and a majority to revoke our exit letter. Short of doing that we will leave on 31 October, as promised by the likely next Prime Minister. We are due to leave according to European law. The UK Parliament cannot overturn European law, and only the PM can ask for a delay and seek agreement to changes to EU law to delay our official exit date.
The people made clear in the European election what they thought of the decision of the two major parties to delay our exit. They rejected both. They made it even clearer what they thought of Mrs May’s Withdrawal Treaty, which got less than 9% support from the electorate in that election. The Conservative government must press on with preparations for our departure in October. Only such an exit can save this Parliament from driving itself even further from the electors it is meant to serve, and only such an exit can provide a platform for the two main parties to start to rebuild the trust of voters which has been undermined by the delay to Brexit.
The desperate idea this morning that a Remain majority should ask the Queen to override the PM taking us out is absurd.
Meanwhile, it’s reported that Ursula von der Leyen
scraped through the vote of MEPs in Strasbourg to become the President-elect of the European Commission. In the secret ballot of MEPs, where her name was the only name on the ballot paper, she was approved by 383 votes to 327, with 22 abstentions and one void ballot – just nine votes ahead of the threshold of 374 required in order to be approved (i.e. an absolute majority of MEPs eligible to vote). “In a delicious irony, the numbers show that she won the support of 52% of MEPs participating in yesterday’s vote so we should look forward to the anti-Brexit crowd calling for a second vote, because the MEPs clearly didn’t know what they were voting for etc”.