May made us laughing stock
We should be very thankful that the heads of government of the other 27 EU nations were able to display a degree of unity in agreeing to an Article 50 extension to 31 October.
For the past three years, the Prime Minister and the Government have been swimming in dangerous waters. As often happens, when a lifesaver tries to save someone in such a situation, the victim fights against the former and imperils their life, too.
This has been the case with the Brexit process. The Prime Minister has insisted on fighting the current and dragging the whole country into jeopardy.
Latterly, she finally recognised the danger and decided to call for help, despite the ERG saying that no help was needed. However, she asked only for a lifebuoy, in the form of a 30 June extension, that would have meant the current carrying us further out to sea.
Fortunately, the EU has thrown us a lifeline anchored to land by offering an extension until 31 October. This will enable us to reach the shore, catch our breath and then decide what to do.
As Donald Tusk advised, we should use this time wisely. Unfortunately, initial signs are that the Prime Minister will not: she seems intent on diving straight back into the water “to deliver the Brexit for which the people voted”.
I cannot understand how she is so sure what that Brexit is: Parliament certainly doesn’t know; not even her own MPs know.
The 48 per cent who voted remain have been completely ignored and it is only in the last few days that the opposition were involved. Indeed, the Prime Minister spent most of her time pandering to the ERG and the DUP (try as I might, I have not found one Shropshire voter who voted for the DUP).
Sadly the signs are that most of our Shropshire MPs will not play a constructive role. In the vote on the extension, Owen Paterson, Daniel Kawczynski and Mark Pritchard voted against and Lucy Allan abstained. Only Philip Dunne (Ludlow) voted for.
Whatever may be agreed as a solution must be referred back to the people in the form of a confirmatory vote.
To say that this is antidemocratic is clearly absurd. Whether you are a Leaver or a Remainer, you should be demanding one. It is the only way to determine if the solution is acceptable to the people and, one hopes, ease the divisions that have torn the country apart.
We need to behave like grown-ups and mitigate the damage that has been caused to our image around the world, wherein we have been humbled, humiliated, belittled and made into a laughing stock.
John Burt, Lydbury North
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