No more referendums or elections, please: the new Prime Minister must show leadership and deliver Brexit

No more referendums or elections, please: the new Prime Minister must show leadership and deliver Brexit

We’ve had over a week to reflect on the European Parliament election and the resignation of Theresa May. We have also taken a regressive step with all manner of interpretations of the results and the emergence of an oversized class of unruly school prefects vying to replace the head girl. I have already written elsewhere why I voted for the The Brexit Party at the European election and why I look forward to supporting the Conservatives wholeheartedly at the next elections. But what we need now is a leader to take control, make a decision and deliver Brexit – we don’t need any more elections or referendums. The country is losing faith in politics, politicians and becoming more polarised with every election.

The European election results in 2014 clearly showed that the public wanted to debate leaving the EU. David Cameron succumbed to pressure from Nigel Farage and at the 2015 General Election vowed to hold a referendum on the issue, which was supported by Parliament. In 2016 we had the European Union referendum which justified the debate when a majority voted in favour of leaving the EU. Then of course, Theresa May called a general election in 2017, losing her majority in the House of Commons.

Brexit has provided the backdrop and been the major single issue for all of these elections, resulting in a breakdown in parliamentary trust and function.  Functionless, since at every stage it has failed to agree a common consensus, failed to move forward on any issue regarding Brexit and failed to carry out the will of the people – something MPs are elected to do in the first instance. There is not even any hope that if another referendum were to be held that any side would agree on what question(s) should be on the ballot paper. It would merely lead to (a continuation of) delay after delay and cost us dearly.

The Withdrawal Agreement was another case in point of a failure to lead, decide and act. Three times it was voted down and was still open to a potential fourth attempt to pass it, had the Prime Minister not offered her resignation. Meanwhile, opponents of a no-deal Brexit claim it would be catastrophic. On the contrary, I think the woeful Withdrawal Agreement on offer (plus a £39 billion divorce settlement) would have been catastrophic to the future of the UK and made us worse off than we are now. Alternatives have clearly not been agreed and nothing has been done in three years.

Here in Wales, Assembly Member Adam Price – leader of Plaid Cymru – has seized on the uncertainty by pushing forward his deluded personal project to bring his extreme nationalism and independence to Wales (while wanting to remain in the EU and abide by all their rules and regulations). He, and many others, have made claims that there is no mandate for a no-deal Brexit, yet The Brexit Party topped the poll in 19 out of 22 council areas at the European election (including Adam Price’s own area of Carmarthenshire). The Brexit Party polled 32.5% in Wales ahead of second-placed Plaid Cymru on 19.6%, a clear result whichever way you look at it – and a clear mandate for delivering Brexit.

And this is the problem (whatever the result). The Remainer populist voice will always claim a victory at the polls by some convoluted theory of fake news. The position in Wales should be a warning to the alternative. We’ve had 20 years of a complacent Welsh Labour Government unable to make the big infrastructure and business decisions to take Wales into the 21st Century. Their poor record in Education, Health and local government has been shameful and widely reported and the new First Minister is steering the ship further to the left.

Further electoral choices or referendums would only serve to further polarise the country and destroy our democracy. It also serves to encourage those seeking to break up the Union to pursue the rhetoric of nationalism and independence. It is a sad reflection of the Remainer-dominated Cabinet that I have heard no talk of ‘Opportunity’ (the theme of last year’s Conservative Conference) or any meaningful sign demonstrating a strong belief in supporting the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We should be a country, an economy and a democracy to be proud of and should be backing trade, business and our sovereignty without the shackles of the EU.

There is a clear mandate to leave the EU. Brexit must mean Brexit and our politicians must act now and deliver. More questions won’t resolve the position and another referendum won’t solve the problem – but a decision-maker and leader will.