Wanted: Brave British politician.
Experience: Must be a dyed-in-the-wool Brexiteer, preferably a senior member of Theresa May’s cabinet.
Duties: The person chosen for this demanding and vital role must be willing and able to swallow their pride, admit their error and put the interests of their country before self and party. They must be able to withstand abuse from former colleagues and friends; even death threats from the public.
They must tell the British public in clear, concise and indisputable language that they were wrong. They must make it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that leaving the European Union was a misguided dream that is turning into a nightmare. They must say that the Brexit negotiated by Theresa May will reduce the former greatest empire in world history to the status of European colony. Furthermore, that the only alternative being discussed by the British government—a No Deal Brexit—would seriously weaken Britain’s economic and political position in the world as well as threatening the livelihood and standard of living of every inhabitant of the British Isles.
The person eventually chosen for this position must be highly persuasive. They must be able to convince voters who previously believed them that Britain would be better off outside the European Union that in fact—after more than two years of negotiations—it is painfully obvious that they would have been wiser to vote Remain in 2016.
Then there is the subject of Project Fear, which has recently been renamed Project Hysteria. The chosen applicant must unequivocally back up the experts who have said that Remainers are absolutely correct to be frightened of the consequences of Brexit and completely justified in being hysterical about the prospect of a No Deal Brexit.
The dream of a plethora of free trade deals to replace European ties must be dispelled. The successful applicant should point out that Britain is leaving the world’s single largest trading bloc for a completely uncertain future. Its former empire—the Commonwealth—has moved on and formed trading relationships with other countries. As for the United States, that government has made it clear that the arrangement negotiated by Theresa May’s government is an unacceptable basis for a free trade deal with America. At the same time, it should be obvious that a No Deal Brexit would place Britain in the position of a supplicant forced to accept whatever terms an American First Trump Administration is prepared to offer.
Britain’s responsibilities to the rest of the world must also be spelled out in no uncertain terms. Its long history of democracy, liberty and pragmatism must be called into play. The British people must be told that Brexit not only weakens the United Kingdom. It will also have a ripple effect on countries around the world. Those closest will be hurt the most: Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The rest of Europe will also be damaged economically and politically. Britain’s voice in the world’s corridors of power—which has long been a voice of reason—will be reduced to a whisper because it voluntarily abandoned its influence in Europe.
The position described must be filled immediately. The House of Commons begins its final debate on the Brexit Withdrawal Bill next week. The government has promised a vote within days, although it should be noted that identical promises have been made in the recent past. The successful applicant must be prepared to rise from parliament’s green benches on Monday, or shortly thereafter, and make the case for reversing Brexit.
Finally, the successful applicant must tell British voters that duty to the national interest is greater than an obligation to a political pledge. That every effort was made to fulfil the promise of the Brexit referendum, but that it was an impossible task and that the British people must accept that their best interests lie within the European Union.
Remuneration: A prominent place in the history books as the person who did the right thing.
Tom Arms is Editor of Lookaheadnews.com