Today was meant to be Brexit Day – instead we have chaos, fear and dunces running the show
TODAY Britain should be waking up in anticipation of a fresh start, free from the shackles of the European Union, outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and no longer subject to the whims of Brussels.
But after three years of wrangling since the 2016 referendum, Prime Minister Theresa May’s Government is at risk of collapse, the UK is more divided than ever, and Britons are even more disillusioned by politics than during the 2016 referendum. Despite the triggering of Article 50 and the subsequent vow to take Britain out of the bloc on March 29, the nation is facing a further delay - possibly a lengthy one - with little if any clarity about when Brexit will be delivered - if indeed it ever is. A petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked is closing in on six million signatures, while an estimated one million people marched in London at the weekend calling for a second referendum, prompting the campaign group Leave Means Leave to warn: “Cancelling Brexit would be a total and utter betrayal of the majority Brits who voted for Brexit. MPs must deliver a WTO Brexit.”
Meanwhile the hashtag #BrexitBetrayal was trending on Twitter, while Google Trends, the search engine giant’s analytics wing, recorded a massive spike in searches of the phrase “Brexit betrayal” in the early hours of yesterday.
Against such a backdrop, it’s scarcely surprising that Leave Means Leave has organised a “Rally to Save Brexit” in Parliament Square yesterday, that former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been leading a March to Leave in the direction of London, or that the prominent think-tank the Bow Group arranged a Brexit Betrayal rally in protest at what organisers call “the fact that Parliament has ignored the clear instruction of the British people”.
The event, which was initially supposed to be held in Committee Room 8 within the Palace of Westminster, was moved to London’s Park Plaza Hotel County Hall as a result of security concerns, highlighting the volatile atmosphere around Parliament as frustration builds.
Speakers included Raheem Kasaam, former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London as well as a former advisor to Mr Farage, David Kurten AM, a UKIP London Assembly member, and Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney.
Mr Harris-Quinney told the townhall meeting last night, attended by more than 200 people, each of whom paid upwards of £65 to attend: “The establishment desperately want 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.
“So long as we have a political system that allows the establishment to elect itself we'll go on getting bad results that make a mockery of Britain.”
In a savage attack on Parliament’s failure to deliver Brexit, he added: “These people aren't the best this country has to offer, many of them are the worst.
“They think they can hide from the British people behind Parliamentary procedure and waffle but theirs is a tyranny of nothingness.
“My quarrel is not so much with the Ken Clarkes of the world - it's the sit on the fencers, the turn coats, the one speech this week and an opposite one the next.”
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Harris-Quinney added: “Many Brexiteers seem to have forgotten two fundamental realities: That May's deal will keep us locked to regulatory and customs alignment that we cannot make the sovereign decision to get out of, and it is therefore not the Brexit on the ballot people voted for.
“Secondly that without the deal being passed we remain scheduled to leave the EU on a final deadline of April 12, 2019.
“The fact that May's deal is not Brexit is something that has been widely reported and agreed upon, even by remain supporters, it represents the worst of all worlds.
“Any MP voting for it must therefore understand they are voting to break trust with the British people.
“The only form of withdrawal agreement the Bow Group would support would be one that fulfils the terms of Brexit, comes in unison with democratic reforms to the Conservative Party to ensure future Parliaments do not repeat the failures of this, and that comes alongside a robust immigration white paper.
“So long as none of these standards are met the Bow Group and members of the Brexit Advance Coalition feel that a "no deal" or WTO terms Brexit represents the best result for the British people and we urge all conservatives and Brexiteers to support this course."
A spokesman for pro-Brexit campaign group Brexit Express, which is backed by multi-millionaire businessman Jeremy Hosking, and which has organised a steam train journey from Swansea to Sunderland on Saturday, and from York to Bristol on Sunday to mark Britain’s anticipated departure from the EU, said: “To say people are disappointed is to understate their anger at what has happened.
"They handed Parliament back its job and have been repaid with obfuscation, contempt, cowardice and incompetence.
“They have reached Oz and found that behind the curtain, our elite is a little man shouting through a megaphone and making smoke.
“For many who thought this weekend would be a celebration, they’ve witnessed only a Judas kiss and a walk of shame every time our Prime Minister has arrived in Europe for the latest capitulation.
“Most people want to move on, they want an end to the ceaseless discussion and the constant denigration of their decision. This weekend was supposed to be that departure point.
“Leavers should raise a glass – but only to what might have been.”