Theresa May has called for unity, but what she wants is unity behind a project she has defined. It’s not a project defined either by the referendum or by Parliament,. According to some it has not even defined by the government.
She is determined only to allow consideration of options that appease the right-wing of her party and the right-wing press rather than pursue the outcome that is in the best interests of the UK and its people.
Theresa May has now concocted a solution which is “neither fish nor flesh, nor good red herring” and in doing so has further divided our country.
The challenge we face is to convince Parliament to consider all options when deciding what is in the best interests of all the UK’s nations. When the time comes, Parliament needs to make an objective assessment of the comparative merits of an exit agreement, no exit agreement, or the UK’s continued membership of the EU.
The UK’s Parliament has the sovereign authority to evaluate all the options when the outcome of the Art.50 negotiations is known. The Government has a mandate to negotiate terms. It does not have a mandate to sign off on them.
For those who insist that the Government has the right to determine what Parliament considers we simply point to The Three Knights opinion, which we commissioned and the preparedness of The People’s Challenge to ask the courts to adjudicate on this point of law if necessary.
We have long fought for the principle that the UK’s Parliament must decide what is in the best interests of the UK. That is why we joined with others to challenge the Government over its proposed use of archaic Royal Prerogative to trigger Art.50.
We do not need to agree on every aspect of the way forward. We do need to find the greatest possible commonality of interests.
Building on shared objectives strengthens us, focusing on differences weakens.
It is only by building on the shared objectives that we stand a chance of salvaging a strong, forward-looking United Kingdom & Northern Ireland from what could otherwise be unfolding over the coming years.