First of all before I begin, let’s take a moment to clear up a few media myths.
Parliament has already decided that in the event of a deal not being agreed between the EU and Parliament, that we leave the EU irrespective under a No Deal scenario. This is enshrined in law, it is Primary Legislation and the chances of that being overturned is near as dammit nil. As to do so, our Government would have to propose new legislation to remain in the EU and with the divisions in her party,coupled with the Constitutional crisis this would cause, most probably leading to the breakdown of our entire faith in democracy, then we can be pretty certain that this will not happen unless public opinion demanded it.
The same rationale can be applied to revoking Article 50, so again we can discount that unless public opinion changes between now and January 21st 2019.
Article 50 itself could be extended, however only until 2nd July 2019 when the European Parliament elections happen, as to extend it past that without having the ability to vote for candidates would be in breach not only of our Constitutional rights but our Human Rights enshrined perversely under the EU, so again not really practical and for this reason alone the chance of a Second Referendum is a non starter unless public opinion changes and there is no evidence to suggest that it has or will.
Therefore, realistically we are left with only two possible outcomes to Brexit. Either Theresa May’s negotiated Withdrawal Agreement or a No Deal, WTO departure.
Yesterday, the cabinet met to discuss and approve the implementation of the steps necessary to prepare for a WTO departure. Many would suggest that it was about time. The Prime Minister however, is adamant that her negotiated withdrawal deal presents the best option for this nation despite the DUP, Parliament and her own backbenchers insisting that they will never vote for it and that it will never be accepted. She is still committed to the idea that the deal that she has negotiated is best for the UK and she will now present Parliament with the choice between her Withdrawal Agreement or No Deal., convinced that Parliament will choose what she feels is the best of the two worst options.
Whether Parliament will do as she is calculating is open to question, as there simply is no way that the DUP would ever countenance voting for the separation of Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. In fact it is inconceivable that any Parliamentarian would do so but there are many, especially within her own party who will simply toe the party line.
The biggest problem facing the Prime Minister in her quest to see her deal pushed through Parliament, is that now she has acknowledged the possibility of a No Deal departure option and by doing so she must tread very carefully to walk the fine line between Project Hysterical and of providing some reassurance to the public, the markets and business that in the event of a WTO departure that the sky won’t actually fall in. We know that briefings to the press so far have been overly pessimistic regarding such an option, however that must now change or else she will face a Country in turmoil and desperate panic when or if Parliament veto’s her Withdrawal Agreement.
Project Hysterical must now be tempered with the release of optimistic reports of what we could achieve under a WTO departure. Free from the EU and with the world of opportunity opened to us once more. When that particular dam is breached, when Project Optimism is allowed it’s voice then the Prime Minister, despite her assurances that her deal presents the best option for the UK, may well find herself and her deal swept away by the tidal wave of renewed optimism of the future of our Nations prosperity outside of the EU. It is an extremely fine, delicate balancing act that she is attempting to perform.
Akin to trying to contain five boisterous, playful kittens into a box which can only accommodate four of them. Eventually the strongest, most persistent and focussed of them all will prevail and escape before you are able to close the lid onto them all.
On all known evidence, the one that is most likely to escape will be the desire of the British people to leave the European Union and to make that departure a success for the nation and for our children, as that desire is still as strong as ever. Maybe stronger.
Remainers claim that we didn’t know what we voting for but we did, we voted for a better future and that is why the positive message of Project Optimism, once allowed it’s voice will defeat the negativity peddled by the proponents of Project Hysteria.
On that basis alone and despite both options still being left firmly on the table, I would suggest that we finally put this uncertainty to bed and accept that on the balance of probability that we will be leaving with a clean, global Brexit under WTO rules.
As when push comes to shove, people will always choose the option of bright optimism over the doom and gloom peddled by the likes of Anna Soubry, Tony Blair and the Remain campaign.
When this happens and after two years of being held underwater, by those who never want wanted us to leave in the the first place, we can finally free ourselves of their clutches and kick for the surface. Whereupon we finally take that first deep breath as we breach it, filling our lungs with optimism, coughing and spluttering as we do so. Relieved that not only is our democracy intact, our nation will be also. Despite concerted attempts to destroy it.
Then with one final glance downwards into the cold water beneath us, we can watch those who we left behind sink ever deeper. Drowning in their own despair as we simply clear our heads, turn and kick for the nearest point of land and safety without a second glance behind us. We will have escaped and with that relief we will have a renewed ambition to make the future better than the past that we left behind.
This is the vision for our future and it is a vision that fills me with optimism not fear. We will survive this and we will emerge stronger and more focussed on what is really important. Our friends, our family, our neighbours and our nation.Project Optimism wins every time and this will decide which option on the table that we finally embark upon.