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Brexit now is better than later or never


IF the EU thinks Britain is likely to leave without a deal, why not leave now? Let’s end the uncertainty.

EU leaders have given up on May’s Withdrawal Agreement because they have given up on May. A key event was May’s attempt on Wednesday to blame Parliamentarians for her failure to deliver (she did so through both a statement to the House of Commons itself, and in a subsequent live television broadcast). The EU realises that May lacks the political tricks to win Parliament over to her deal. (She needed tricks, because nobody tried offering Parliament a good deal for Britain, because that would be bad for the EU.) In this four-way blame game, the EU was never blamed, and never took responsibility.

Reportedly, the Dutch and Luxemburger premiers rate the probability of no deal at 50 per cent, the French premier at 5 per cent, and the European Commission President, Donald Tusk, at less.

So the EU should help Britain leave without a deal. Instead, it is pushing Britain to staying, possibly in Norway’s style – a member with a fig-leaf of associate status. In other words, the EU is exploiting the increased chance of Britain actually leaving by offering more membership options. Donald Tusk says that all options are still on the table. How convenient for the EU, while it tries to panic Britons with talk about options and time running out.

How convenient for May’s government too, which on Friday leaked its own ‘classified’ plan for leaving without a deal, full of hyperbole about difficulties. Yet the ‘critical’ period is given as three months, and the plan makes clear that the crisis is manageable. So why leak it? This manic Remain-leaning government has no interest in leaking this to the manic Remain-leaning Guardian newspaper except to stoke Remainers’ hyperbolic warnings about ‘crashing out’ of the EU.

The government’s bias is further revealed by news that the government has postponed implementation of its no-deal plans until at least 8 April, on the bogus grounds that it has just agreed with the EU for delay until at least 12 April.

The elite’s assumption of delay is itself a coup. The elite is pretending that British law was trumped on Thursday by Theresa May’s personal request to delay, and the EU Council’s agreement. In fact, the European Withdrawal Act still stands. Parliament has legislated for Britain to leave on 29 March. Article 50 of the European Union’s own constitution mandates that the petitioner to leave has two years from lodging the petition before leaving: the two-year clock expires on 29 March. Theresa May’s personal request does not change the law. The EU Council’s agreement to her request does not change the law.

In other words, the elite is pretending that the law to leave on 29 March doesn’t exist. The law stands. Unchanged, Britain leaves on Friday 29 March. It should, for the good of democracy, lawfulness, and certainty.

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Bruce Newsome
Bruce Newsome
Bruce Newsome is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas Permian Basin. He is also the author of the anti-woke satire "The Dark Side of Sunshine" (Perseublishing, 2020).

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