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Analysis

6 questions Theresa May has ducked on Brexit

by Hugo Dixon | 07.06.2017

The prime minister used Brexit to justify breaking her promise not to call a snap election. That was a con. She still hasn’t answered these six key questions.

1. Can she stop things spiralling out of control?

May’s manifesto had the cheek to say: “When things spiral out of control, it is ordinary working people who are hit hardest.” But the prime minister keeps saying “no deal is better than a bad deal”.  Wouldn’t crashing out with no deal lead to things spiralling out of control? Wouldn’t it result in chaos at our borders, a regulatory no-man’s land for businesses trading with the EU and the imposition of tariffs on some products?

2. How will she fund vital services if she ruins economy?

Even if she doesn’t quit without a deal, the prime minister plans to pull us out of the EU’s single market, which is responsible for half our trade. If that ruins the economy, where will she get money for the NHS, schools and old people?

3. How will she keep us safe if we storm out of EU?

Being in the EU helps keep us safe – for example, we share intelligence through Europol and extradite suspects using the European Arrest Warrant. We’ll struggle to keep these and other vital tools given May’s refusal to accept the jurisdiction of the EU courts. Is she prepared to make an exception when it comes to fighting terrorism? How will we cooperate at all on crime if we storm out with no deal?

4. Won’t tearing up our EU relationship harm our influence?

Our neighbourhood is increasingly dangerous. As you cast your eyes beyond the EU, there is a boiling cauldron of trouble in every direction: Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Libya. Last month Germany’s Angela Merkel said the EU could no longer completely depend on us or Donald Trump’s America. If we now tear up our relationship with the EU, won’t we be further marginalised?

5. Won’t a chaotic Brexit damage our “precious union”?

May’s manifesto was littered with references to “our precious union”. Won’t a chaotic no-deal Brexit be a gift-horse to the Scottish National Party and Sinn Fein, which want to break the UK apart?

6. How will she hit her migration target?

May is promising yet again to cut net migration to the tens of thousands – a target the Tories have pledged in two previous manifestoes and missed. Given how Brexiters whipped voters into a frenzy over EU migration in last year’s referendum, it is mind-boggling that the prime minister hasn’t set out a single policy to cut it.

May doesn’t deserve to get back into Downing Street. She is ignoring the elephant in the room despite giving Brexit as her excuse for calling an election. Voters should punish her by voting against her destructive Brexit.

How should you vote?

This article draws on a piece that appeared in InFacts in early June

Edited by Alex Spillius

4 Responses to “6 questions Theresa May has ducked on Brexit”

  • May I express my amazement at the fact that there is no clear position against Brexit in this currently running election campaign. Why is there no party clearly campaigning for a second referendum in order to avoid the impending disaster?
    Yours sincerely,
    Joerg Baden, Germany

    • There is a clear position against brexit being a predetermined act held by both the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats across the whole UK, and the SNP has an anti-brexit stance in Scotland (presumably there are other anti-brexit parties in the other nations, too). It is just that the two largest parties have both, for slightly differing reasons, supported the ridiculous idea of separating from the EU, so despite it being perhaps the signal most important issue in this election, there has been no real discussion about what this would really mean or whether it is even legal to leave the EU in this way!

  • There is.

    The LibDems who are polling between 7 and 10%.

    Though I’d argue that they made a huge error by opting to pursue another even messier and nastier referendum, which would be fought on worse terms (no emergency brake or opt-out of ever closer union, for example) over a much simpler and clearer pledge to simply pursue the revocation of Article 50.

    It’s a very uncomfortable thought but, like on the continent, I suspect many people have simply moved on.

    The saddest thing is that the Brexit we’re seeing played out is the one that the Remain campaign themselves came up with in order to persuade voters to opt for Remain.

    It was David Cameron and co who said no to a second referendum, stated the UK would be outside the single market, etc.

  • Joerg: The Liberal Democrats and Greens are opposing Brexit and are campaigning for a second referendum on the terms of Brexit. Hopefully, they will become more powerful in the new Parliament, but it is unlikely they could win an overall majority. Our best hope is that enough anti Brexit members get voted into the new Parliament, although alot of them will then feel obliged to do what their party leader advises them to, and in the case of May and Corbyn, support Brexit.