The Moment for Truth


Theresa May has invited Jeremy Corbyn to explore ways of jointly delivering Brexit.

Any Brexit solution puts the unity of both the Conservative party and the Labour party at risk if they go ahead with a cross-party solution. Both leaders are likely to lose their jobs and the damage to the two parties will take years to heal.

Both party leaders, however, would stand to gain widespread popular respect, as they would appeal to the middle ground, if they were to admit the truth, of which both – and most MPs – are deeply aware.

First, that they must make it clear to the nation that ‘no deal’ would be catastrophic for Britain and hugely harming for many other European countries. They must jointly request parliament to legislate immediately against a ‘no-deal’ option.

Secondly, they must publicly express their shared opinion that all Brexit options will damage the British economy and make it impossible to invest the resources needed to improve living standards. Already the uncertainty caused by the Brexit process has inflicted serious damage to the manufacturing and financial services sectors. It has also weakened the bonds that hold the Union together. Internationally, Britain’s stature has been deeply damaged. Prolonging uncertainties for several years of further negotiations on future relationships with Europe will simply make matters worse.

Neither of them wants to lead the country into a self-harming future even if this is what the 2016 referendum result effectively called for. They – and parliament – have looked at all options but in more than 2 years have failed to find a viable solution.

To make these admissions and to draw the conclusion that it is now clearly in the general public interest for the UK to formally end negotiations for exiting the European Union and to embark on a major effort to address valid domestic grievances will require guts – but that is what leadership is about!

They would, therefore, announce their intention to seek parliamentary authority for the government to revoke Article 50 by April 12. They would also agree that, should parliament recommend this, they would both accept the need for an early general election.

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