The Embarrassing Failure of the British Parliament
Surprise, surprise. Brexit isn’t going to plan. The past week or so has proven to everyone in- and outside the EU that the members of the House of Commons are fairly useless at their job and citizens of the UK are not having it anymore.
On the 23rd March, around one million protestors gathered in London demanding for either a second referendum or revoking of Article 50 altogether. The people against the Brexit vote shared their voice. Many in Parliament have shared their desire to carry out the ‘people’s decision’, to implement Brexit. MP’s shared their voice. What appears to be the case, is a lot of people sharing their opinion and leaving it at that. Theresa May has given her all for her Withdrawal Agreement, but it doesn’t appear to be feasible, especially after the deal was rejected a third time in the past week.
No one wants Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement and no one in parliament is eager to revoke Brexit. Surely, the alternative Brexit options would be an opportunity to find another route for the UK to take. Apparently, not. MPs rejected 8 alternatives, which included: a second referendum, revoking Article 50, the Labour party’s Brexit plan, a Customs Union deal and EFTA and EEA membership. What can we take away from this?
Well, I would say a great deal. The major one being that the UK is being governed by indolent buffoons of the highest calibre. A clear example of this is my local MP in the UK, Amber Rudd. This name may ring a bell as she was the Home Secretary and is currently the Work and Pensions Secretary. Mrs Rudd did not vote for any of the options that MPs voted on. Now, I understand that she may have been showing loyalty to Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, but she should show loyalty to the country and its citizens. It is quite unacceptable that she would not vote for any other alternatives given the fact that she advocated to remain in the 2016 referendum. Brexit does not have to be a partisan issue. It should be an issue of compromise and it seems that this seems to be above the pay-grade of most British MPs.
If Brexit does happen, how on earth are we meant to negotiate a trade deal that benefits the country when our own parliament, a supposed beacon of debate, cannot negotiate within itself? Out of the possible nations that would want to trade with the UK, who would want to trade with such a level of incompetence and inconsistency? The UK Parliament used to be one of the most respected institutions in the world and it has been converted into a place of memes and general mockery.
I am, of course, fine with this to a point. However, now is the time to stop debating and start acting, with the looming no-deal coming ever-closer, which wouldn’t necessarily be a disaster if Parliament had committed to this route earlier. Whatever you may think is the best option for Britain, the Commons should be at least capable of finding one path. The UK parliament has always been bad at relationships, it would flirt with ideas here-and-there. But now we have left the house and are not sure what it does now.
The recent talks between May and Corbyn hopefully will decide some consensus amongst their parties. However, this is extremely unlikely becauseBrexit is not a partisan issue, which has been demonstrated many times already with rebellions happening left, right and centre. Neither of the two party-leaders retain any control over their parties. Party discipline is a thing of the past.
This disgrace of a parliament needs to act like a respectable body of policy-making rather than a bunch of children fighting over the best flavour of ice cream. Although, in all honesty I would give more trust to the children than Parliament.
Dan Edwards is a disgruntled Brit, who luckily also has an Irish passport. He studies European Studies at FASoS and writes for the MD.