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Analysis

Now let’s take EU extra time and get a People’s Vote

by Jenny Sterne | 22.03.2019

Two important things were confirmed during the eight hours of talks at last night’s European Council summit. First, we’re no longer heading for a no-deal crash out next Friday – at the very least we’ve got until April 12 to make our next move. And second, the option of a longer extension is firmly on the table.

MPs must use the EU’s offer to stop Theresa May frittering away the next fortnight on backroom wrangling with her backbenchers and the DUP. If necessary, they should reject her broken Brexit deal a third time.

Then we must also be given time to chart a clear way through this crisis. That requires a long extension, and holding European Parliament elections. The prime minister is trying to scare people with this prospect. But the last thing a proud democracy like the UK should be scared of is a vote.

The other 27 EU countries were deeply unimpressed with May last night – “90 minutes of nothing” was the verdict on a question and answer session about whether she had a Plan B if her deal was rejected again. “It was not clear if she had a plan at all,” said one EU source.

This is clearly not “taking back control”. French president Emmanuel Macron, the FT reports, asked the prime minister: “Theresa, where are we going?” A question that is now on everyone’s lips and clearly not one May can answer.

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May’s plan yesterday seems to simply be postponing the inevitable failure of her Brexit deal. But MPs and the rest of us don’t have to follow May’s desperate strategy, there is no reason to back her bad deal now. And actually, even if they did there’s no guarantee May will have her plan ready by the May 22 deadline the EU has given her to implement it if it’s approved.

The EU has given us until April 12 to indicate our next move, and Tusk was clear that “all options remain on the table”. That includes a longer extension if the government can “indicate a way forward”. The clear way forward is to forget May’s broken deal, look at the other alternatives out there and then put whatever Brexit emerges back to the people.

May is now very much out of step with the public. Only 10% of people believe an extension should be used to get the government’s deal over the line, according to a new YouGov poll. If May is truly on the side of the public as she claims, she would acknowledge this and use the few weeks the EU have a rethink.

But so many promises have been broken and so many mistakes made that whatever happens next cannot be decided by politicians alone. Any final decision must go back to the people for their agreement.

These are tense times, but we’ve still got options. Tomorrow’s march is the perfect opportunity to send a clear message to politicians that this Brexit mess isn’t good enough. So many promises have been broken and so many mistakes made that whatever happens next cannot be decided by politicians alone. Any final decision must go back to the people for their agreement.

Edited by Luke Lythgoe

7 Responses to “Now let’s take EU extra time and get a People’s Vote”

  • Time to walk from the dictatorship NOW. Buy British and SC**W the eu economy once and for all. Eu business leaders savage no deal planning within the eu as disastrous. Says it all about the anti democratic dictatorship at the held of the stinking eussr.

  • @Phil

    you must stick to your dosage, else you start raving mad with crazy delusions.
    take your pills, go for a short stroll and then have a good long nap … it’s not healthy to stay prisoner of your own basement 🙂

  • When one person suffers from a delusion it’s called insanity. When an entire government suffers from a delusion it’s called Brexit.

  • Apart from everything, it should me remarked that “free movement of people” in Europe is in reality a non-issue because of current regulations in Europe.
    I can inform you the following from experience.
    For instance in Luxembourg, the country of Mr. Juncker, any European wanting to settle in Luxembourg can get freely around during a maximum of three months.
    Whenever wanting to stay in Luxembourg after this period you need to apply for a “Carte de séjour de ressortissant d’un état membre de l’Union Européenne” and to obtain this right to stay you need to prove that you can make your own living and to produce a proper address.
    Only after you obtained this Carte de séjour you are entitled to be healthcare wise insured and to obtain other social security benefits.
    In other words the UK should solve its own problem in this respect and simply introduce this system.
    The same counts for all countries around.

  • @Phil
    Ok, Phil, so the UK ‘walks away’. Perhaps now, instead of aggressive and nationalistic rhetoric, you will set out what Britain would be like in its own outside the EU. Give me a guaranteed vision that Britain will be richer and safer for example. That it will maintain the same standards that we now enjoy, that farmers will get the subsidies they need, that the Tories will provide funds for areas that have suffered the most from their austerity. Give me watertight evidence that this will be the case.

  • William,
    You will be waiting a long time for a Brexit supporter to actually come up with a genuine advantage of leaving.

  • It’s a shame that people like Phil post immature comments. Nevertheless people should be allowed to let of steam and rant, and throw their toys out of the pram, even though frustratingly they don’t take the debate any further.
    That reminds me of a speech this week to the nation recently by a certain leading politician …. ? That was an equally bad tantrum.
    Any sensible person knows that fundamentally any Brexit deal which impacts adversely on the government’s tax collection to pay for the basics of policing, education, the health service, as well as social care and pensions doesn’t seem like an intelligent thing to do? I wonder if damaging trade has anything to do with damaging taxation? Just joking.
    Therefore, please if any Brexit supporter has any ‘polite’ and ‘thought out’ arguments for Brexit just tell us? Maybe I’ve missed something here in the last 3 years or maybe I didn’t read my last copy of the Daily Mail? Please don’t call me negative, but I’m not too optimistic on getting any responses.
    Anyway let’s look forward to the People’s Vote March today in London and in the coming days for the UK parliament to take back control of events, do the sensible thing and drive the UK away from the cliff edge.