Theresa May Should Resign

Patrick KIssel, Reporter

On March 29, Brexit will become official with the United Kingdom no longer being a member of the single market, or any of the trade agreements negotiated by the European Union (EU) for its member states. The United Kingdom will also no longer be a part of the European Parliament, a body of delegates sent by member states that governs the EU from a multinational level.

As the date fast approaches, the United Kingdom is currently on a path of a no deal Brexit, as prime minister Theresa May’s deal she has hammered out with the EU failed in the House of Commons. The deal failed with a margin of 230 votes in the Commons, as many conservative MPs dissented with the majority and May, voting against the bill. A defeat for the major policy of a premiership is nearly unprecedented, and any defeat like this defeat generally results in the prime minister resigning or calling a general election.

This is something May should have done after the failing of the deal, but she continues to resist any attempt to end her premiership, or to reverse the decision of the 2016 referendum and end Brexit. During Wednesday’s prime minister’s questions, she continues to refuse to call a second referendum, or a general election.

In early January, the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn forced a vote of no confidence on May, but the no confidence motion failed 325-306. With the next general election under the fixed-term Parliament act not being until 2022, the only way that the Commons could currently oust the prime minister is if either another vote of no confidence vote were held and succeeded, or if a vote of no confidence done within the conservative party were to succeed in ousting May.

This is unlikely, though, as a vote of no confidence in the conservative party was held against May in December, and failed. Though it failed, the vote of no confidence confirmed that at least a sixth of the conservatives in Parliament did oppose the path Brexit has taken. The vote also served to prove that a significant amount of members of the coalition government made up of the conservative government, the democratic unionist party and one independent, do not support the way the government is handling Brexit.

It is clear, the prime minister does not command a true majority in the Commons. In the history of the United Kingdom, when a prime minister had their central policy decision fail, they would step down because it is clear they no longer command a majority, and a general election would be called. Despite this, May continues to remain adamant that she can get the EU to negotiate a new deal, or a revised deal by March 29, and continues to state that she will not extend article 50, setting back the official date of Brexit.

The path May is taking is reckless. She has created uncertainty, not only among British companies, but in the world economy. With less than sixty days before Brexit, if article 50 is not extended then a hard border would appear not only at the channel crossings between France and England, but at the Northern Irish border, reigniting the fierce conflict that was fought for decades along border crossings, and in major cities over Irish unification.

Many businesses have already announced they will go out of business if Brexit where to go through, as their labour supply relies mostly on EU nationals, who with no deal would no longer be able to reside in the United Kingdom without returning home and applying for a work visa.Other companies who rely on the easy transport of goods between the United Kingdom and other members of the EU may also be forced out of business.

The United Kingdom will also have no trade agreements with any nations, while the EU using the single market has free trade agreements with a large amount of the world. The United Kingdom would no longer have access to trade between even countries like France, or Belgium. To put it short, the British economy will drop like a rock if there is not a deal passed by March 29.

Yet May continues to jeopardize the continued prosperity of the United Kingdom by dangling the prospect of a no deal Brexit in the faces of labour MPs, saying that it’s either her deal, or no deal.

May has refused to call a second referendum. She has declared in prime minister’s questions that if a second referendum were put to the people on the question of Brexit, it would undermine the will the people declared in the first referendum in 2016 by asking them if they still, after three years of seeing what Brexit really is instead of the fantastical facade painted by leavers during the referendum. She also claims it would divide Britain, but Britain is already divided over Brexit.

In conclusion, May should resign, and either call a general election, or allow the conservatives to choose a new leader who would likely become prime minister, though even that would be up in the air as the queen chooses whoever commands a majority of the Commons, which is also completely up in the air. Either way, May should resign, and let the people choose the government that represents what they want now three years into the Brexit process. After the last general election, which she called in 2017, she lost seats, and since two years ago she has dropped in popularity. If she believes in democracy, as she claims when she refuses a referendum, she should resign and call a general election.