A UK General Election Should Not be an Excuse to Delay Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May has just lost a third vote on elements of her previously rejected Brexit deal. Although May has said should would step down if her motion secured the support of Parliament, she did not give a specific indication regarding what she would do if she lost the vote. That being said, there have been many rumours abounding that if she were to lose, she would call a general election.

In very many respects, a general election in the UK is well overdue so that Parliament can accurately reflect the mood of the country in respect of how to carry on with the lengthy Brexit process – a process that crucially will continue after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. This is the case because many new trading agreements will need to be signed as Britain enters a new political era.

However, because the results of the 2016 Brexit referendum have yet to be implemented, it is imperative that before yet another general election takes place, the most fundamental aspect of the 2016 referendum is at long last implemented. This means that Britain must be allow to exit the EU on the 12th of April on WTO whilst a subsequent general election will be fought on how to proceed from there on out. This of course would also mean that Britain would have no need (or ability) to participate in this May’s EU elections.

Beyond this, it would now appear foolish for Theresa May to carry on as the leader of her party as she not only cannot command a majority in the House of Commons but is on shaky terms with a great many of her own backbenchers and her party’s supporters throughout the nation. Therefore the following should happen:

1. Theresa May should resign as the leader of her party but not as Prime Minister. This will allow a Conservative leadership election to take place while May carries on as a caretaker Prime Minister who can oversee a Brexit on WTO terms beginning on the 12th of April. 

2. Once a new Conservative leader is elected (almost certainly after the 12th), May should resign as Prime Minister and her successor should immediately ask the Monarch to dissolve Parliament and call a general election.

3. Clearly, none of these things can happen before the 12th of April. This of course is a good thing. As such, it would be utterly disingenuous and deeply unethical for a de facto lame duck parliament to delay Brexit until after the general election. 

Because every reasonably conceivable option for a negotiated Brexit has been rejected by the current House of Commons in a series of recently held indicative votes, the default position is for Britain to exit the European Union on WTO terms on the 12th of April. As such, the forthcoming general election should be about how the Brexit process is to proceed subsequent to a withdrawal on WTO terms – thus satisfying the vote of 2016. 

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