Brexit: MPs must learn a lesson from Winston Churchill – leader comment

Winston Churchill worked across party lines to help defeat Nazi Germany
Winston Churchill worked across party lines to help defeat Nazi Germany
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The UK now has three new political parties – Remainers, Brexiteers and No-Dealers – as Brexit shatters our political system. MPs must realise this and work across traditional party lines to defeat the No-Dealers.

It is obvious that we are living through extraordinary political times.

And, in days such as these, politicians who have a sense of duty to their country, who have people’s best interests at heart and who are capable of distinguishing reality from fantasy know that the normal rules do not apply.

During the ‘Darkest Hour’ crisis of 1940, Clement Atlee and Winston Churchill stood side by side against those like the Conservative Lord Halifax who wanted to sue for peace with the then all-conquering Nazi Germany.

The 11 MPs who resigned from Labour and the Conservatives to form the Independent Group understand the historic nature of the situation the UK is now in, with just over a month to go until our planned departure from the EU.

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But it would appear that some politicians are still clinging to old tribal loyalties, the niceties and accepted forms of behaviour for those who walk the corridors of power – the Conservative Cabinet Ministers quietly ‘voicing their concerns’ but still remaining in their posts as Theresa May leads the UK towards economic catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit, the Labour MPs apparently looking for a little extra cash for their constituencies to ‘buy’ their vote.

It is clear leading Conservatives recognise the danger posed by a no-deal Brexit, even as they support a Government that seems intent upon it if May’s deal fails.

Chancellor Philip Hammond yesterday declined to say whether he would resign if no-deal becomes a certainty; Scottish Secretary David Mundell stressed his determination to stop a no-deal but added he would “most certainly not” be leaving the Conservative Party; former Education Secretary Christine Greening said she did not think she “would be able to stay part of a party that was simply a Brexit party that had crashed us out of the European Union”.

These are all warnings in one form or another, but the question is whether they will be taken seriously, whether they send a strong enough message, one that will prevent a no-deal.

Brexit has shattered politics in Britain. Forget the usual labels, politicians are no longer Tory, Nationalist or Labour, they are instead Remainers, Brexiteers and No-Dealers. MPs who wish to save this country from a no-deal disaster must have the vision to look beyond the bounds of their traditional parties, identify their true foes and then take the necessary steps to defeat them.

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