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Tue Jul 5, 2016, 06:47 AM

Which version of Brexit will Conservatives choose? An election to approve the plan?

Or just let the Tories pick their prime minister, formulate a Brexit plan then implement it on their own?

Britain must have a general election before activating article 50

The government not only finds itself without leadership, it has no plan, no consensus and no clue about what it wants to do in the future. The only thing it agrees on is that the UK should leave the EU. But how, when and to what end all remain unanswered. It enjoys a mandate to quit, but no mandate as to how this should be done.

This is partly the result of the unforgivable cynicism of a Brexit campaign that refused to tell voters what comes next. But it is also a consequence of contradictory opinions: the hedge fund owners who financed the campaign want to turn the City into a low–regulation Dubai; Boris Johnson wanted to open Britain to far-flung continents; Michael Gove wants to close Britain against incomers; and most Brexiteers witter about maintaining access to the single market while not being subject to its rules, apparently oblivious to the glaring contradiction.

This debilitating cocktail of hubris, incompetence and dishonesty must be overcome if the country is to move forward.

First, each Conservative leadership candidate must set out, in detail, what they think our future relationship with Europe should be. Second, the new prime minister, to be announced on 9 September, should immediately publish a white paper setting out a full plan. And third, he or she must then seek a democratic mandate for their plan in an early general election.

The notion that it should be left to Conservative members to handpick a new prime minister for what in effect will be a new government pursuing new priorities is absurd.


One one hand, Conservatives won the Brexit referendum vote and don't have to call a general election. One could argue that they should be permitted to choose the Brexit plan they prefer and go with it. The "low-regulation Dubai" plan, the Boris Johnson "neoliberal fantasy island" plan, the Michael Gove "build a figurative wall" plan or a 'free trade, no rules' plan?

OTOH, one could argue that which plan is chosen by Conservatives should be voted upon by more than just the Conservative majority in parliament. Interesting times ahead for the UK.

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