Meanwhile in Blighty, Part 2
British Prime Minister Theresa May presented her Brexit deal to her Cabinet yesterday. She faced the cameras and said that the Cabinet had agreed to support the deal. Then this morning, UK time, two senior ministers—including the actual Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, resigned, along with several lower-level ministers. Her deal is being torn apart from both Tory rebels and the Labourite opposition.
A couple of days ago I wrote that it seemed as if Vladimir Putin’s first intelligence operation against the West wasn’t going to quite turn out the way he wanted. Well, never doubt the power of Little England. Even though if there were a second referendum, voters would likely elect to remain in the EU, right now it’s the Little Englanders who hold the balance of power in the House of Commons. There are even rumors of them having enough votes to force a leadership contest or a vote of no confidence.
This is not akin to the rumblings Nancy Pelosi is facing down. Pelosi, as far as I can see, is in no danger of losing the gavel. But Mrs. May is now a dead PM walking. Ministers keep defecting from her government. The opposition, led by the feckless antisemite Jeremy Corbyn, smell blood. The Northern Ireland unionists on whose support she relies to cobble together a majority are ready to bolt. And Scotland is not well pleased.
The man who isn’t mentioned in all this is former prime minister David Cameron, the political genius who, in order to buy peace in his party, promised a referendum on EU membership. A real leader would have told the backbenchers to stuff it and have done what was in the state’s best interest, which was to remain in the Union. But much like Corbyn is Bernie Sanders with power within his reach, Cameron was Jeff Flake at the head of a world power, shifting with every change of the wind. If this all goes pear-shaped—and there’s no reason to believe that everything will work out—Cameron will be reviled as the man who set in motion the dissolution of the United Kingdom. Because a no-deal or bad-deal Brexit will cause Scotland to up and leave.
The only way to avoid the catastrophe is to have a second referendum. The idea that the people spoke in the first one, and only in the first one, is ludicrous. A nation’s fate hangs in the balance, and it should be decided by another plebiscite, just as a popular vote landed them in this mess.
What happens in Europe, obviously, has repercussions for the United States. A Europe in turmoil doesn’t serve US interests, or the health of the world community. Leaving fate in the hands of myopic xenophobes guarantees an awful outcome. Theresa May now has to have the courage that David Cameron didn’t: Tell her backbiters to stuff it, and call a second referendum, where the option of remaining in the EU is one of the choices.
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