I am writing this (and technology permitting) you will be reading it, on Friday 18th October. The PM has come back from Brussels, having secured (against all of the predictions of the Remain-leaning pundits) a new deal from the EU. There is still much which is less than perfect about it. But it removes some of the most obnoxious parts of the Theresa May deal - especially with regard to the Northern Irish backstop (although I am disappointed that the DUP are not supporting it), and with regard to defence matters.
At all events, of one thing I am certain: It’s the best that we are going to get. I hope that we secure a majority for it in the House tomorrow and I personally will most certainly be voting for it. If we do not, there will be no better deal, and we will very probably not leave the EU at all, thereby destroying all public credence in the democratic process itself.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats seem determined to block the Deal. The Liberal Democrats, of course, espouse a second referendum instead, nonetheless making it clear that whatever the outcome of that Referendum, they would oppose it unless it happened to agree with their own pro-EU views. “Let’s ask the people, but only pay any attention to it if they agree with us.” How Liberal. How Democratic. Labour, so far as I can understand it, say that they would renegotiate Brexit, hold a ‘confirmatory referendum’ and then campaign against whatever it is that they have negotiated.
Yet I come across very few people who would relish the notion of a further six months of division, uncertainty and rancour as a second referendum is fought over. It would be divisive and inconclusive; it might, of course, land us up precisely where we are now. The time for discussion is over. The people voted; we have secured the best deal that we possibly can. The House must now vote for it, and we must proceed to put the necessary legislation in place to leave the EU on 31st October. If they do not do so, then we must have an immediate General Election, during which they may well be hard oppressed to explain their actions to the electorate.
So let’s just get on with it.