Brexiteers have reacted to the failure of the Conservative Party establishment to deliver Brexit on the day the country was scheduled to leave the European Union, warning that if MPs vote to pass Prime Minister Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement it would “simply not be Brexit at all.”
Mrs May has failed on two previous occasions to pass her controversial deal with the EU by large margins. She will bring the treaty portion of the document to the House of Commons for a third time this afternoon.
However, a number of Brexiteer MPs are reportedly preparing to again vote down the deal, which they maintain still fails to deliver Brexit, hands over too many concessions to the EU, and threatens the integrity of the British Union via its Irish backstop.
The United Kingdom’s oldest Conservative think tank, the Bow Group, held a town hall rally on Brexit’s betrayal Thursday night exposing the failures of the Tory Party to deliver on the 2016 referendum, with the group’s chairman Ben Harris-Quinney saying, “Parliament is clearly not representative of the British people, has no intention of delivering the Brexit that was voted for, and the Conservative Party holds considerable blame for this.”
Speaking to a crowd of Brexiteers representing a broad church of conservative thought, Harris-Quinney said, “The establishment desperately wants to distract from the fact that Parliament has ignored the clear instruction of the British people to leave the EU in full on March 29th, 2019.”
Later, speaking exclusively to Breitbart London, the party chairman said, “There is no risk to Brexit in not voting for May’s deal, because to vote for it is to guarantee that Brexit is maligned.”
“It’s not just that Theresa May’s deal is a bad Brexit deal, it is simply not Brexit at all. Anything that keeps us unilaterally tied to EU regulations without the powers to remove ourselves represents a worse scenario than remaining in the EU,” he added.
On the matter of today’s vote in the House of Commons, which if Mrs May’s deal passes will see the United Kingdom agree to a two-year transition period with the EU in which it will retain all its current obligations to the bloc while losing its national representation, the Bow Group said that if “the choice is between Theresa May’s unviable Withdrawal Agreement and a No Deal Brexit” then a Brexit on “[World Trade Organization] terms remains the closest to honouring the Brexit result, and we strongly encourage all conservatives and Brexiteers, in and outside of Parliament, to pursue that course.”
The position is backed by Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, who wrote in The Telegraph on Friday that “the WTO option is the only possible route.”
On Good Morning Britain, Mr Farage said of the failure to deliver Brexit, “I think today is a very disappointing day. This should have been our independence day. The day we became an independent nation. The day we were looking forward [to] for we were promised it.
“I think people have every right to feel betrayed, by the politicians in Parliament and indeed our government for not taking a clear, decisive course.”
Mr Farage attacked Leave-supporting Tory MPs for “turn[ing] tail”, criticising the party as “a Conservative Party in name only.”
“They are putting party before country, career before conscience, and dashing the hopes of millions who want Brexit. Now, as then, I am appalled by their lack of courage,” the Brexit campaigner wrote.
Theresa May is reportedly considering splitting the vote on her deal to get around Bercow's ruling MPs couldn't vote on the deal three times.
Both Vote Leave campaigner Boris Johnson and European Research Group (ERG) chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg have said they will now back the Prime Minister, despite months of Mr Johnson criticising May’s “vassal state” deal, and Mr Rees-Mogg leading the charge for a vote of no confidence in the her leadership some months ago, in the belief that it is now either May’s deal or not Brexit at all.
However, media reports that a number of Brexiteer MPs are still planning to vote down the agreement, with Buzzfeed’s Alex Wickham reporting that there are “Currently 25 ‘definite’ Brexiters who will vote against [the Withdrawal Agreement], per source”.
Former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson, meanwhile, writes in The Telegraph that “I will not vote for an agreement which sees the UK broken up, have laws imposed upon it by a foreign power, subjected to substantial fines for non-compliance, from which there is no unilateral right of exit, and pay £39 billion for the privilege.”
Northern Ireland’s staunchly conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), whose ten MPs prop up the Conservative Party’s minority government, maintains that it will also vote down the Prime Minister’s deal, with Westminster leader Nigel Dodds saying, “We are sticking to our votes on principle.”