Theresa May’s manifesto pledges suggest that Brexit really will mean Brexit

Theresa May’s manifesto pledges suggest that Brexit really will mean Brexit

When Theresa May became Prime Minister in the wake of David Cameron’s resignation after he led the Remain campaign to defeat at the EU referendum, she was much mocked for her repeated use of the catchphrase “Brexit means Brexit”. But based on the manifesto she presented to the country yesterday, it is hard not to conclude that on her watch Brexit really will mean Brexit.

The fundamental platform of the Vote Leave campaign last June was that the UK should take back control of our laws, our borders, our money and our trade policy. It followed that this would therefore require us to be outside of the single market, the customs union, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and all the other bureaucratic and costly apparatus of the remote Brussels machine: that’s what Brexit is – neither soft, nor hard, nor any other adjective that those frustrated at the referendum result would care to use.

The Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech in January and the subsequent White Paper published by the Government in March made clear that the UK would leave the single market and the jurisdiction of the ECJ; but a number of eurosceptics continued to doubt – sometimes through pieces we have hosted here on BrexitCentral – whether it really would be the real deal. Would the UK really be leaving the customs union? Would we, under Theresa May, take back full control of our fishing waters outside of the Common Fisheries Policy?

The fact that Theresa May had campaigned for a Remain vote, albeit without a great deal of fervour, evidently led some to be suspicious of whether she really would deliver.

But yesterday any doubts were surely answered once and for all. Theresa May, like the majority of those who backed Remain, has accepted the result and is now embracing the delivery of it.

Through the pledges published in black and white in the Conservative Party manifesto, she commits her party to delivering the open, friendly, global-facing, outward-looking Brexit that the British people voted for in unprecedented numbers at the referendum. As with the other parties’ platforms, our very own Hugh Bennett has analysed the Brexit-related pledges in the manifesto – you can read his analysis here.

I daresay that many BrexitCentral readers – coming from a variety of political traditions – will have a wide range of opinions about other aspects of the programme that May unveiled yesterday. That’s only natural; indeed, it’s a basic aspect of the democratic process that there will be differences of opinion over how a Government uses the powers it has. But when it comes to the very Brexit process of regaining those powers, I doubt there will be many complaints.