25 November 2018

london tax brexit public sector ukfastHave you ever been in a no-win situation? One where there are so many variables and so many people involved that there is literally no way to please everyone?

Theresa May is in one of those impossible situations as we speak. Having spent 20 months negotiating a deal for the UK to leave the EU, the European leaders have finally agreed to the proposed deal, passing it through to the final stage.

A vote in our own UK Parliament. 

The Commons vote

Ironically, after all  this, it looks as though we are not going to be able to agree on the outcome. With leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn already saying that the deal is the ‘worst of all words’ and that his Labour party will oppose it, it is hard to see how we will not now find ourselves back at square one following the Parliamentary vote.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has called it a bad deal, recommending remaining in the single market, whilst the Lib Dems and the DUP have also made their opposition clear. And the Tories, are just as divided!

Former leaders including Tony Blair and Iain Duncan Smith have also said how difficult it is to support the deal in its current form.

The former Brexit secretary himself – Dominic Raab, responsible for negotiating the deal – stepped down because he couldn’t support it. But who could have done a better job?

When you are in such a challenging position, negotiating something without precedent that has split the country in four parts, is damn near impossible.

Those wanting to;
leave but don’t like the deal
leave but do like the deal
remain in Europe but don’t like the deal
remain in Europe and do like the deal

What is in agreement is that it is looking highly unlikely to please everyone.

So what are our other options? It’s easy for the Labour party to say that they oppose and will look to block regardless, but that potentially leaves us with a no-deal outcome if the vote doesn’t go in Theresa May’s favour and the European leaders have threatened us with that, “take it or leave it” approach. But how do all parties propose to agree an acceptable outcome with the 29th March deadline fast approaching? I think now if anyone disagrees with elements of the deal, they need to be very specific and outline precisely what the do and don’t like. There must be some areas that people agree with regardless of your political persuasion. 

The Brexit end game

At a time when we really need to be uniting to ensure the very best outcome, instead everyone is throwing their ideas into the ring and dismissing something that we already have on the table, yet not being specific. The challenge for the rest of us? No one really knows what the deal entails!

Despite issuing a 599-page document, nobody is any the wiser about what the proposed deal means for the everyday Brit. How does it impact jobs, how does it impact living standards and how does it affect business? That’s ultimately what we need to know.

Clarity and certainty

This weekend May issued a letter to the public for us to rally behind, which in principal is a good move, but I do think it’s important that the main points are spelt out accurately so people can debate them properly. Only then are people able to vote with certainty one way or another. The current situation is leaving it too open so politicians are able to use a broad brush to dismiss the entire proposal.

I often describe how uncertainty is the biggest productivity killer, and it is true. We’ve had too much uncertainty for too long when it comes to Brexit. What we need now are clear answers. We need politicians to put their personal politics to one side and focus on what’s best for the country.

What are your thoughts on Brexit? Do you think May’s deal will pass when it is put to the vote in December?

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