MP’s have voted decisively in favour of empowering May to invoke Article 50 – the White Paper on Brexit becomes paramount.
So, there we have it. Theresa May now has formal parliamentary permission to invoke Article 50. Tomorrow the long awaited White Paper on Brexit will be released and it feels as if the ball is finally rolling in response to the democratic decision of the 23rd June Referendum… or is it?
Whilst I imagine the Brexiteers triumphantly celebrating, I remain dubious as to whether this is truly as momentous as tomorrow’s headlines will have us believe. Churchill blazoned as a symbol of British prestige across the front page of one newspaper – despite the war time Prime Minister being a Founding Father of the European Union- among other victorious images in light of the 498-114 vote in favour of giving May the power to trigger Article 50. But the reality is that this is an obvious, preordained step in the direction towards Brexit that carries little importance in comparison to the eventual release of the crucial information contained in the 2nd of Febuary’s White Paper. Factually, we know very little about our future in light of this power granted to May.
What will post-Brexit Britain actually look like? This question was presented prior to the Referendum result and is yet to be answered. I anxiously await the reveal of the White Paper, yet am sceptical about getting the answers we have all been looking for. In particular, I am interested to see what the Paper offers in solution to the democratic crisis in Scotland and the North of Ireland where a majority voted to remain in the EU. Thus far the only party who have presented a sensible solution to this essential question have been (predictably) the SNP. Of course this solution is highly contentious – as it would create Scottish Independence in all but name – but as the only one on the table at this moment in time, the disregard for the wish of the Scottish and Irish people is embarrassingly transparent and incredibly nerve-rattling. Alas, I will hold my breath in anticipation for May’s solution which might or might not be revealed in the White Paper.
My respect lies with the MPs who voted No to the bill, who said no to handing over our sovereignty to just over half of the population who voted in the Referendum. Farage will argue that their decision was undemocratic, however handing over authority concerning the future of our nation to an unelected leader is the antithesis of democracy.
As a strong supporter of Britain’s place in the Single Market, this White Paper may not contain the best possible pathway out of the EU for those of my political persuasion. There are a lot of difficult to predict risks and negotiations ahead of us and while just over half of the nation may be celebrating for now, it is with bated breath and a heavy heart that many of the rest of us await post-Brexit destruction.
Image credits: http://impressionsofchurchill.com/?page_id=377