Analysis, Europe, Side Feature

Brexit in Chaos

On the morning of the 12th of December, at least 48 Conservative MP’s had sent letters calling for a vote of no confidence in UK prime minister Theresa May. It is reported that the ballot will be this evening, and the result of the vote will be announced this night.


Whichever way the vote goes, ‘Brexit’ will remain in a state of chaos. Theresa May has been playing a crafty game by insisting on ‘upholding the will of the people’ to leave the EU, while negotiating a deal with the EU that would, nevertheless, nullify the major campaign claims of those who rallied the people to vote by a narrow majority for Brexit. The prime minister has delivered a deal that fails to satisfy both sides of the Brexit divide, and insists that this is the only deal possible. Some have accused her of treason, and clearly many Conservative MP’s suspect her of trying to sabotage Brexit. The motion for a no confidence vote gained enough support to go forward after PM May shocked many Conservative MP’s by suddenly deferring an impending parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal, which it was expected she would have lost.

Referenda are considered to be forms of direct democracy, and they are rare. The Brexit referendum and the ensuing scramble have highlighted just how flawed democracy as a universal conception is. From the beginning, the major political parties abandoned any responsible position of leadership on the issue. The Conservative party left MP’s the choice to join either the ‘leave’ or the ‘remain’ campaign, while the Labor leadership behaved in some ways very similarly to Theresa May. Labour Party official policy was for remaining in the EU, while many Labour members actually favored leaving the EU. The result was that with a divided party, Jeremy Corbin organized the weakest possible campaign to remain in the EU, while the ‘leave’ campaign aggressively promoted its agenda with considerable support from US billionaires and the infamous Cambridge Analytica company that took advantage of Facebook user’s profiles to mount the same type of false news campaigns that occurred during the Trump campaign.

Since the Brexit vote and the deployment of article 50, both sides of the political spectrum have been unable to offer a unified voice with each Member of Parliament not seeking to upset the voting trends in his constituency. The result is that one of the major issues in British History is the subject of a game of “pass the parcel” with everyone shouting but no one wanting to be holding the parcel when the music stops. Well, tonight the music stops, but not for long, as the British people still wait for real leadership.


Dr. Abdullah Robin