This article was first published on Comment Central.
The forthcoming general election offers an opportunity for the British pubic to further strengthen the government’s mandate for delivering a hard Brexit, says Jayne Adye.
General elections foster uncertainty. The next seven weeks will be no different.
As the Prime Minister stood before the steps to 10 Downing Street, she made it clear why a general election was needed: “Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership…The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.
“In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the deal we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill. The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union. And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.
“Our opponents believe that because the Government’s majority is so small, our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course…Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country.”
Meanwhile, Gina Miller is threatening more legal action to put a stop to Brexit.
This calling of a general election is a significant risk. And a risk not only Theresa May and her Government, but also a big risk for Brexit. Many ‘remain’ voters, still angry about the EU referendum result, will see this as an opportunity to derail Brexit.
But of course – with a bigger mandate – Theresa May will be able to go into the Brexit discussions, showing the rest of the EU they cannot go behind the back of the Government and we will be in a much stronger negotiating position in the national interest.
Be under no illusion – a vote for any party other than the Conservatives or UKIP is a vote against Brexit. Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, can be described as nothing other than weak. He is a lifelong Eurosceptic, but backed ‘Remain’ in the EU Referendum due to the pressure put on him by his own MPs. The same could happen again if he was elected Prime Minister.
The Liberal Democrats, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens, don’t even try and hide their intentions. They would all like to see the UK remain inside the EU. In such uncertain times – where Brexit tensions are still running high – it is not beyond the realms of possibility we could end up with a rainbow coalition in favour of the EU!
If the Conservative Party cannot form a majority Government, we could see these ‘Remainers’ uniting to block Brexit. We cannot allow this to happen. In all likelihood it won’t, but we should not ignore this possibility, and we must all vote accordingly.
This General Election will also provide Brexiteers with an opportunity. An opportunity to ensure Brexit is not only delivered, but we get the Brexit we voted for on 23rd June, by increasing the mandate for Brexit further. A Brexit which gives us control over our laws, our borders, our trade policy and our money. This must mean leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union.
The Prime Minister has committed herself to Brexit, and so, of course, has UKIP. But crucially, the other parties have not. Perhaps therefore Theresa May and the Conservative Party continue to outperform Jeremy Corbyn and Labour so spectacularly in the opinion polls.
Additionally, this election could finally make Parliament truly representative of the Great British Public – with a majority committed to Brexit – unlike now with the clear majority of MPs having previously backed ‘remain’.
If the Conservatives gain a majority with a manifesto commitment to a hard Brexit, not even the Lords would be allowed to stop it under the Salisbury Convention – which prevents the Lords opposing manifesto promises.
In the polling booths on June 8th, it is vital to remember one thing – we have not yet left the EU!
To ensure the referendum result is respected – remember, 17.4 million members of the public voted ‘leave’ – we must make sure we all vote for a party which whole heartedly supports Brexit. Don’t allow Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, Plaid Cymru or the Greens to destroy the democratic decision of the people on 23rd June last year. The final hurdle is approaching on June 8. If we jump over it, we will make sure we will Get Britain Out of the EU.