Now we have a deal -or a draft one.
When I have written about the risks of Brexit before, I always said everything would depend on what sort of deal we got. Now we have one. Sort of. It has its flaws, but it was always bound to contain a series of compromises. I have also always said the worst outcome would be a no-deal exit from the EU.
I now commend this deal!
If you have any influence on your MP or any other, please use it. Please, please get behind this deal, however many reservations you may have about the details. Let’s face it, whatever we do about Northern Ireland will have to be less than ideal unless we all stay in the EU. Let’s take what’s on offer. There isn’t another one coming down the road. Even a bad one gets us the interim period in which to make necessary adjustments and might rescue such things as cooperation on policing and security.
Why should Labour support the deal?
I really hope the Labour Party doesn’t use this situation to precipitate a General Election. That could push us over the deadline and into a No-Deal exit and would look like they were putting party before country. If Labour won, do you really think they could get us a better Brexit? Anyway, a General Election would resolve nothing. Parties would fight on so many issues, you wouldn’t know what sort of Brexit voters were preferring.
Should the people vote on the deal?
Perhaps a second referendum would be the best way forwards, but we would need more than two options. Perhaps it should ask (1) Do you want what’s on offer? If not, (2) would you prefer to leave the EU with no arrangements or remain in it? A simple choice of three would lead to endless arguments over interpreting the result, unless the majority voted for the deal. If it was split into three roughly equal numbers, the Brexiters would claim those voting for the deal wanted to leave the EU so should be added to the number of hard-brexiters, whilst remainers would argue the country had rejected a no-deal and therefore should remain in the EU.
Save the deal!
Whatever happens, please let’s not play into the hands of the hard-brexiters with their far right agenda.