By Stuart Clark |
Current mood in Britain is fearful
It’s impossible to know in what position we would be currently had Nigel Farage not decided to form the Brexit Party. Without it, Theresa May could quite possibly have got her deal through parliament as the hard core Brexiteers were showing signs of crumbling (Jacob Rees Mogg probably now regrets his decision to vote to pass her deal at the last vote) They were so close, but now any vote to pass her deal will be seen by the 35% of British public who now favour leaving without a deal as betrayal.
Lack of a figurehead for the Remain cause
There are several Pro-Remain political leaders espousing Revoke and/or a People’s vote, but none of them have stepped up to take on Nigel Farage. Heidi Allen has tried by challenging him to a debate on 17th May, but he refused. There are none with the influence and charisma needed.
w/c 3rd June: Theresa May to bring her Brexit deal back before Parliament in a different form – Could it pass this time?
She’s counting on the fact that Tory defeat in the European Elections next week will be so staggering that Brexiteers will fear that unless they agree, the Brexit Party will take enough votes from them in a General Election, it would put Corbyn in No.10. And they fear that more.
There is talk of a WTO Alliance between Brexit Party and the Tories – but this would split the Conservative Party down the middle, and possibly end the 2-party system forever which would be such a big risk, I don’t believe it has traction.
The combination of poor election results next week, together with the collapse of talks with Labour leadership (May and Corbyn on their own would’ve agreed to a customs union deal like a shot, but their negotiating teams did not let it happen) means her grip on the leadership weakens further.
Tory activists have called an extraordinary meeting of the National Conservative Convention w/c 15th June. It is then that May’s time could finally run out. With no obvious further options she could reluctantly have to resign. And then a 2-month transition to a new Conservative leader begins.
What would the results mean for Britain and for the European Union?
It’s hard to say for sure. Polls change daily according to the narrative – the local elections in parts of the England gave a boost to LibDems and Greens, but as Brexit Party and Change UK did not take party it’s impossible to tell how much that will really affect the outcome next week.
I don’t want to present too many stats but this latest prediction is a good indicator
There’s no doubting that Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party will be sending the largest single party contingent to Brussels but as the Brexit Party’s breakthrough comes mainly to the detriment of the Conservative and UKIP ranks it’s not all bad news. Labour still has strong support, but their lack to clarity has given a boost to the remain parties, who, although are not united (which has upset many, but in reality is democracy) there is still the potential that the remain vote could win the election in terms of votes (although this will be impossible to confirm, as Labour cannot strictly be classified as a remain party) We will see.
30-40 Pro-European MEPs could be valuable in the next European Parliament. What is also significant is that a large contingent of Labour MEPs could possibly tip the balance for the Socialists. And Spanish and British Socialist MEPs could make PES the largest EP Group. Who could’ve predicted that a year ago?
Does Theresa May have any chance of success?
If the last three years has taught us anything – the resilience of May to continue cannot be ruled out – and if she is still in power by the end of the summer, then the most important vote the UK Parliament must make before the October Brexit deadline is No Deal vs Revoke.
Alternatively, having ruled it out for so long – I believe May might see a 2nd referendum as her last chance to get her deal through Parliament – it might be her last desperate gamble if she is being forced out in June.
I remain optimistic – not only that the remain vote will win next week – even if the number of remain MEPs doesn’t match – but also that the current tumultuous circumstances will in the long run bring the reform needed for Britain and for the European Union. And never again will so many who possess a vote be forgotten and dismissed again.
2 names to look out for as new British MEPs who could be future progressive, reformist, Federalist leaders. Gavin Esler and Andrew Adonis.
I will be voting for Change UK myself, but I do not ask anyone who they are voting for – but simply that they vote for someone!
Stuart Clark, Editor, UK
Stuart Clark is currently, board member and Nominations officer for the Federalist Party
He was leader of the UK section of the European Federalist Party 2013-2016. He is active with Alliance Europa, and also the Federal Union in UK. As well as promoting Federalism, Stuart also campaigns for constitutional reform and electoral reform. He stood for Council Election in Lambeth in 2018. Stuart works for a global ticketing company and is based in London and Cornwall.