Over the last few months, Theresa May has shown herself to be surprisingly willing to plunge Britain into crisis. From being found in contempt of parliament to delaying the crucial vote on her withdrawal agreement for fear of losing, May has unashamedly subverted our democracy for her own gain on numerous occasions. Threatening a no-deal Brexit is yet another example of one of May’s trademark plots.
This one, however, cuts much deeper. Theresa May has openly put people’s lives on the line in an attempt to force her terrible deal through Parliament; she has proved herself to be willing to drive us all off a cliff for personal gain. For the Tories, political power overrides the country’s wellbeing- they see no wrong in gambling away our futures for the party’s sake.
Once the make-believe fantasy of a bunch of hard-line, deluded Brextremists; the prospect of a no-deal Brexit is now a political reality. Talks of a “managed” no deal (a huge contradiction in itself), as well as increased government spending on no deal preparations, have done little to ease public fears. Preparations for a no deal have so far resembled preparations for war. Thousands of troops have been placed on standby and the stockpiling of food and medicine has begun.
The ludicrous amount of money which is being poured into preparing for doomsday could have and should have been spent elsewhere. For instance, addressing the concerns of Leave voters plagued by years of austerity. According to Shehab Khan of the Independent, the £6.2 billion pounds being spent preparing for a no deal could have instead been used to construct 16 hospitals in the UK.
Instead, the government is preparing to crash out the EU without a deal and plunge Britain into a period of economic ruin and uncertainty. A no-deal will lead to huge disruptions in trade and commerce. The pound is expected to fall steeply and inflation set to rise. The NHS (an institution which Leave voters sought to protect and innovate through voting for Brexit) is set to be thrust into further chaos by the Conservatives. Evidently, this isn’t anything new but a no-deal Brexit would throw up a unique set of problems such as delays at ports – which will restrict the NHS’s ability to import desperately needed medicines from the EU- and the exclusion of the UK from vital European medical research.
So why is May so willing to take this risk? Ultimately, threatening a no deal serves a very clear political purpose. Theresa May is ignorant, but not ignorant enough to be unaware of the damage a no deal would do to the country. It is this chaos she is politicising. Firstly, she is attempting to render the whole Brexit debate into a choice between her deal or a no-deal. Entertaining the possibility of a no deal also appeals to hard-line Brexiteers (Mogg and Johnson), making them more inclined to back May should there be any vote of no-confidence. Lastly, this is a clear attempt to frighten Parliament into submission. The threat is back my deal, or be complicit in the chaos to come.
Parliament must unite against the prospect of a no-deal. But can this actually be achieved? Labour must attempt to rally cross party support against May and trigger a vote of no-confidence in her party. Conservatives MP’s Anna Soubry and Nick Boles have signalled their willingness to side with Labour if such a motion is put before the House, but can the Tories really be trusted to vote against their own party? The recent vote of no-confidence in Theresa May has united MP’s behind her. The Tories have once again shown themselves to be two-faced, duplicitous liars who place their hold on power above all else. The prospect of a Corbyn government is a source of great anxiety to all Conservatives; they are therefore unlikely to risk a general election. I expect many MPs to back May’s more moderate withdrawal agreement as the Brexit deadline approaches.
The majority of Brexit voters did not vote to come crashing out of Europe. Prominent Brexiteers constantly reassured us that we were to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union – as Tory MP Owen Paterson put in “only a madman would leave the single market”. This U-turn betrays the people’s will. The real threat to democracy comes not in the form of a People’s Vote, but in May’s willingness to interpret Britain’s decision to leave the European Union as a vote to come crashing out of Europe with no deal. There needs to be some form of clarification as to what type of Brexit 17 million people actually voted for. The vast majority, I am sure, would oppose the chaos which would accompany a no-deal.
Theresa May is attempting to break the Brexit deadlock through fear. But according to many Brexiteers, Project Fear is the strategy of Remainers. The future of the country hangs in the balance and, as it stands, neither Brexit outcome seems very appealing. It is the duty of MP’s across the house to call May’s bluff and rescue Britain from the jaws of oblivion.