Now is not the time for Brexiteers to go soft on the PM’s shoddy deal

More than ever, our MPs must be brave and hold out for what is right. This is no time for Brexiteers to go soft.

What is right is what the majority of people voted for – that is the essence of democracy. What is right is what is in the long term economic and business interests of the UK.

There is no question that an extension of Article 50, engineered by the government or Parliament, will be seen as a betrayal of Brexit, a betrayal of one of the largest democratic plebiscites and one in which two thirds of UK constituencies (nearly three quarters of those in England and Wales) voted to leave the EU. Note that when they voted to leave, no mention was made of a deal, let alone “a close and special relationship”.

There is also no doubt that MPs voting for a very bad deal indeed will be seen to be supporting Brexit in name only (BRINO) and recognised as betraying the country.

As is so often the case, the British people are streets ahead of their Parliamentary overlords. Up and down the country, people are saying “let’s get on with it”, “just leave” – Leavers and former Remainers alike. They have no fear of a so called “no deal Brexit”. They know that Project Fear is nonsense, promulgated by those in whose narrow, vested interests it is to maintain the status quo. People want change and are prepared to take the risk. So do business owners, as exemplified by the more than 250 entrepreneurs who signed the recent statement from the Alliance of British Entrepreneurs and Leave Means Leave calling for a managed no deal exit.

Unfortunately for the establishment across Parliament, the Civil Service, the media and the business community, risk and disruption threaten the cosy order, promising scrutiny and competition, change and progress. 

The irony is that the people are braver than their leaders as they have proved throughout history. But in this case, they know that the risks are short lived and minor in comparison with the opportunities of cheaper food and consumer goods, the economic boost from trading with the world and investing the £39 billion EU ransom in the UK, and from unshackling us from the dead weight of a failing Eurozone.

But this is not just about economics. In fact, it is the lesser of the factors. It is about liberty, about being a proud and independent nation capable of determining our own future. About being grown up.

Even more importantly, the direction of Brexit is now fundamentally about upholding democracy and restoring public trust. MPs voting to extend article 50, or being browbeaten into voting for BRINO, will confirm in the minds of many that democracy in the UK is no more than a means of legitimising what the establishment want, to be overruled when it does not suit them. In other words, that democracy in Britain is dead.

This will prove to be the breaking point for the social contract between those who govern and those who are governed. When MPs go into the voting lobbies they should mindful of their pivotal role in history.

It is now said that even solid Brexiteers, members of the ERG, are giving in to the forces of the political establishment, and are prepared to vote for BRINO. Instead, they should trust the people and stand up for democracy. We profoundly urge them to be brave, do the right thing and vote for no deal, a prosperous and free future based on global trade, keeping our own money and seizing liberty.