Just as the topic began to recede from the public eye, and the typical Trump orientated news returned, the great leviathan that is Brexit lashed out yet again. This time, causing strife within the Conservative party. Phillip Hammond has been hounded as a back-tracker for declaring that Brexit will require a three year negotiation period, which would bring us up to the 2019 mark. Not only this, but it has also been revealed recently in the Telegraph (for those unaccustomed to British media, the Telegraph is a centrist/slight right newspaper) that freedom of movement has a hope of yet still existing between the Union and Britain. To add to all this commotion, the enormous £36bn “divorce fee” is still apparently a “very real prospect”.
All of these factors lead us to believe that Hammond is leading towards a soft Brexit, which is exactly what the people voted against. A recent poll from “What the UK thinks” shows that many believe that we should owe absolutely nothing in our departure from the Union and might I add, rightly so. The UK was one of the Unions largest contributors, and for the Eurocrats to demand yet more from our nation seems downright villainous. In response to Hammond’s actions, his approval rating has plummeted among other party members.
This differing approach shows the divide that has become more and more apparent in the Conservative party, ever since the resignation of David Cameron. It appears to me that we have a line of hard pro-brexiteers, who have declared since day one, their support for initially leaving the Union, and now pledge their support to a quick, and complete severing of ties. This sect believes we should not be forced to accept freedom of movement, and should not be forced to accept the bill of £36bn, wherever that number came from. In fact, even those who initially favoured remaining in the Union now agree that a “hard” Brexit would be the best outcome for the UK. After all, it is what the people voted for, to seize our borders, and define our own laws, without the meddling of Brussels. If we were to take the words of Margaret Thatcher and embody them with our great Union, then I’d argue the UK is “not for turning” and should pursue the deal we voted for.
On the other side of the pitch, we have the champions of a soft Brexit. Characters such as Hammond or Vince Cable (the latter of which recently condemned the grey vote). Many of which were initially opposed to the idea of leaving the Union and yet now have found themselves in a position of power by which they could pervert the will of the people. Which leads me to ask the question; what can we do to remedy the seeming heretical actions of some of our beloved politicians?
Well, the most obvious would be a cabinet shuffle, however judging the scene around us, and the intricacy of the negotiation, this wouldn’t be in the best interest of a “strong and stable” government. Especially with the narrow majority, the party holds at the moment, a shuffle may threaten future elections whenever they may be. However, a cabinet shuffle may push some more favourable characters into the limelight. Cult classic, Jacob Rees Mogg could see a more prominent role, after recently revealing his renewed ambition thanks to his growing following. Ruth Davidson seems to have put the idea of a party split away for the time being, and so could see more action in the following months trying to sell the idea to the Scotts, and dissuade the populace from turning SNP once again. Whatever transpires, it is of vital importance that we remain clear on the ideals that people voted for, and ensure they are carried into the highest levels of our democracy.