For a long while, the decision over the country’s decision after the Brexit vote has been looming. This decision was always going to cause some upset, go for a hard Brexit and kick out everyone with an accent to keep Farage happy? Throw a paddy, jump through some dodgy democratic loops and have another referendum to keep the Lib Dems smiling? Or forget the whole thing ever happened, eat, pray, and love to have the Greens chirpy? The choice was very much down to Theresa May, and it appears a choice has been made.
The cabinet office published a 7 point list outlining their ideal outcome from Brexit negotiations (in the midst of England bringing it home, this move was certainly well timed to minimise upset). This includes “frictionless access to each other’s markets”, “end to free movement”, and to “end vast annual payments”. This sounds very much like a middle of the road, soft Brexit. As a result, what we’re left with is cabinet resignations and an even weaker government.
This came initially with the resignation of David Davis, Brexit Secretary. In a BBC interview, Davis explained his resignation through his lack of belief in these plans, as well as his fear that the EU would take this middle-ground position and push for a deal that would work much more in their favour, whilst giving his distaste of free movement a subtle mention.
In another turn of events, No. 10 announced Boris Johnson’s resignation before he had the chance to do so himself (more of a firing perhaps? Is Trump already making his mark on UK politics before he gets here?). Revealing deep divides in the current government, the BBC’s political editor describes this event as turning an “embarrassing and difficult situation for the PM into potentially a full-blown crisis”.
This series of events is being somewhat celebrated by remainers. Whilst these resignations may appear to be nothing more than political game playing of ministers seeking to jump early from a sinking ship, movements are still shown towards a Soft Brexit and potentially another referendum.
For Futures’ Sake, a student led campaign group “who believe it’s time for the people to be given a vote on the terms of the Brexit” are revelling in the fallout from these events. With the likelihood of another referendum increasing day by day even if just by an inch, this excitement is understood on their part.
The SU currently have a For Futures’ Sake campaign group, although without any members yet, we can expect to hear more from them on campus with Brexit coming to a close.