In the event of Mrs May’s resignation, which after the departure of two Brexit Secretaries the Conservative Party should insist on, these are the immediate imperatives for action.
The overwhelmingly anti-Brexit, Remainer-dominated Parliamentary party must not allowed to replace May with another compliant, institutionally-captured Remainer such as Hammond, in a stitched-up coronation reminiscent of May’s in 2016. The new leader and PM must be a Leaver and committed Brexiteer. This is non-negotiable.
The No 10 Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell, chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins and Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill must be relieved of their duties with immediate effect and told their services are no longer required in relation to Brexit.
It’s essential to avoid a long, drawn-out leadership contest, causing a hiatus which would undoubtedly be exploited both by the EU, Labour, and the Unreconciled Continuity-Remain movement to undermine Brexit, sow uncertainty, cloud the issues and continue agitating for a re-run of the 2016 Referendum, by whatever name. Speed is of the essence.
The party is divided already. Undemocratic though it may seem, both the national and political situation demand an interim leader who can be appointed quickly, on the basis that he will see Brexit through, and then step down and not seek re-election. That points to David Davis, as both Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg could be hampered by allegations that they would not go on completion of Brexit.
May’s Soft-Remain, BRINO-Deal must immediately be repudiated and taken off the table. The EU must be told unequivocally that there will be no further discussion on it, and that it is to all intents and purposes dead.
We must still leave all of the EU, the customs union, the internal (single) market, and the jurisdiction of the ECJ, as intended on 29 March 2019, but on No-Deal, WTO terms. No monies will be paid, apart from those legally required under extant treaties. All departmental energies must be directed towards preparing for a No-Deal Brexit and all work on any other options suspended.
We should indicate to the EU that we reserve the right to propose an alternative such as Super-Canada, Canada++ or Alpha-Plus, but at a time of our choosing – and that until then, or even if a more equitable agreement with the EU cannot be reached, we are happy to trade on WTO terms if need be.
We must immediately withdraw from any and all measures agreed since June 2016 on military integration, the incipient EU Defence Union and PESCO.
That this will involve a certain amount of disruption is unavoidable. Which is precisely why May must be removed now, and the above imperatives implemented immediately, to give the maximum possible time for adjustment and mitigation before 29 March 2019.
For the Vichy-Tories, the moment of truth has arrived. It is yet possible that 15 November 2018 will go down in history as the day that British Democracy died, strangled by the supposed guardians of it. They have arrived at the irreversible fork in the road.
Standing up for the democratically-delivered instruction of the electorate, even at the risk of some degree of temporary turbulence, is infinitely preferable to four years of a Euro-Purgatory caused by hesitation and cowardice. It might – just – save the Tories from an annihilation at the hands of the voters which will make 1997 look like a minor blip in comparison.