THE DANGERS OF A BREXIT DELAY
The Somerset Guardian, 13th February 2019
If we do not leave the European Union (EU) on 29th March a delay could easily require the European Parliament elections to be held in the United Kingdom (UK) on 23rd May 2019.
On 4th December 2018, Nigel Farage announced his resignation from UKIP in relation to the appointment of Tommy Robinson as an adviser to the leader, Gerard Batten and the decision of its National Executive to retain Mr. Batten as UKIP’s leader.
Since his departure, Mr. Farage has set-up another party, the Brexit Party. In the vein of UKIP, Mr. Farage continues to seek complete withdrawal from the EU but is concerned about the direction that UKIP is heading.
I share Mr. Farage’s concerns. A delay would mean that UK citizens are able to vote in an election for a body that they want to leave and do not respect. It is something that has not previously held much interest for voters but could be attractive to those who would feel let down by the Government if we had not exited. These voters could decide to use their vote to protest about a failure to uphold the results of the referendum, which would probably benefit Mr. Robinson and see him elected.
The EU’s obsession with an ever-closer union has created a place for extremism to thrive across Europe. Fortunately, the nature of our two-party system has meant that extremist parties have only been able to occupy the political periphery. Yet, there is a danger that if the Government does not honour its commitment this could be a free hit for UKIP and Mr. Robinson to win and for extreme politics to gain traction. It would be better to leave cleanly on 29th March.