JOHN Longworth, former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, founder of Leave Means Leave and Brexit Party MEP candidate, is right. Tory MPs have proved too spineless to save Brexit. No wonder ‘the Brexit Party has become a lightning rod for the anger and frustration being felt and expressed, up and down the country with regard to the failure to deliver Brexit but even more to the breakdown of democracy’.
My heart does go out however to one MP, Steve Baker, who cuts a lonely figure these days. He’s consistently held his line on the Withdrawal Agreement and done his best to get Mrs May ousted. Yesterday he warned his pusillanimous head-in-the-sand colleagues that if May’s deal is voted through, the Conservative administration would ‘collapse’ anyway in the absence of support from the Democratic Unionist Party, their confidence and supply agreement going down the pan. The broader point is that getting the WA through would be but a pyrrhic victory. It would deliver worse than nothing, those mutton-headed MPs who think it is a solution need to realise.
Baker and increasing numbers of Eurosceptic MPs are hoping it won’t be voted through. The number of them switching back to voting against it has risen by ten, it is claimed.
But the chairman of the Tories’ Madhatter’s Tea Party has by no means given up on it. Yesterday Brandon Lewis refused, under pressure from Mishal Husain (standing in for Andrew Marr), to admit to any need to prepare for the EU Elections. If he’s not clutching at straws he must know something we don’t.
The truth is that whichever way it goes, while Kim May remains a fixture, the Conservative Party is finished. A council elections wipeout seems inevitable despite Lewis’s bravado. A Brexit Party that even Camilla Long approves of has indelibly changed the UK’s political map. If the WA is forced through and Farage’s party is cheated of its EU elections, the Tories may have seen nothing yet.
The only reason members have not yet torn up their Conservative Party cards has been to have a say in the new leader, to have a vote. Soon membership will be too crippling an embarrassment even for that.
And that is exactly what any continuation of May’s administration, whatever thread it hangs by, will be. Who wants to belong to a Conservative In Name Only party that’s betrayed the one thing it promised its members and that the electorate relied on it to do?
John Longworth writes: ‘One can only assume that our political establishment does not realise the mood of the country, does not comprehend the damage it is doing to trust in government and the democratic process.’
We ask how long will it take for the Conservative Party to understand this? Only when the Brexit Party wins the 2022 election? We at TCW continue to count the days till they do and so spare the country more days of calamitous May.
Today is Day 25 . . .