Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeNewsRoll on Farage, May 23 . . . and electoral Armageddon

Roll on Farage, May 23 . . . and electoral Armageddon


ANOTHER week passes and we’re still in the EU. Mrs May has sunk from being hapless, hopeless and helpless to desperate – what other (printable) word describes seeking support from Corbyn (most of his own party wouldn’t do that)?

Meantime, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Again. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, refreshingly clear of all the UKIP baggage, looks like the natural place for anyone disgusted with the performance of the House of Commons to vote in a European election. That would be 17.4million Leavers, plus many reluctant-Remainers, plus the mischievous who love the idea of giving the current political establishment a good kicking and inserting some chaos into the European Parliament.

The people to pity at the moment are the citizens of mainland Europe. In all the Brexit malarkey we (or rather the BBC, The Times et al) have rather ignored the continuing problems begotten by the euro. Last week Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph described some of the problems. Short version is that Italian debt (largely held by European banks) is getting out of control (again) and a jolt such as no-deal Brexit could tip them over the edge. Add to that the somewhat dischuffed German car-manufacturers plus any other EU company which wants unfettered access to the world’s fifth-largest economy and it is clear that the EU desperately need a deal.

Mrs May’s deal is awful for the UK (unsurprising as it was written by the EU) but by threatening no-deal we could have made progress or got the deal we wanted the day after we left with no deal. One can only marvel at the genius of the Remoaner MPs who managed to take no-deal off the table – thereby emasculating what passed for our negotiating position.

So we now face the hilarity of EU elections when we would rather not be in the EU. Do either of the major parties think that they are going to survive those? And if the Brexit Party excels in the Euro elections, which I think it will, why would it not triumph in a subsequent UK general election – which is the only constitutional way we’re going to get a sensible government? The dogs in the street know this, but the likes of Matthew Parris writing in the Spectator yesterday suggest that Brexit is over and Leavers should back a second referendum. Like so many of the political class, he completely misses the point. This parliament, these politicians and their parties (excepting, for once, those who were avowedly remain like the Lib Dems and the Greens) have treated the electorate with absolute contempt.

They are about to find out that contempt is a two-way street. They face electoral Armageddon on 23 May. I hope it is a knock-out blow, and will be using my best endeavours to ensure that it is.

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Patrick Benham-Crosswell
Patrick Benham-Crosswell
Patrick Benham-Crosswell is a former Army officer who has spent the last 30 years in commerce. He is the author of Net Zero: The Challenges, Costs and Consequences of the UK's Zero Emission Ambition. He has a substack here.

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