July 10, 2018
Dear Theresa May,
I feel compelled to write, expressing a desire and hope that the United Kingdom can change course from the current political disaster that is Brexit.
My hope is not, surprisingly, that Brexit should be stopped. With such important issues at stake, the current state of negotiations between your government and the EU is not filling many millions of Britons with hope about the future. And yet we continue to push on…
Instead, I would like to suggest that you simply postpone Brexit.
As has become clear to everyone, there was little to no planning in place should there be a “Leave” vote by the public. Many people are still amazed that after almost twenty years of campaigning for a referenda, Nigel Farage apparently gave little or no thought at all to what might happen afterwards. Similarly, two years after the Leave vote of June 2016, Messrs Davis, Fox, Gove, Johnson and Rees-Mogg still appear to have no credible plan for the United Kingdom’s future with the European Union. The recent resignations from your government by Mr Davis and Mr Johnson, have highlighted this inconsistency once again – they do not appear to have a plan of their own, but are unwilling to support your plan.
In normal life, if a person, team or organisation really wants something, it is up to them to work out how to make it a reality. We view people that make demands and expect others to fulfill them as spoiled and demanding. Yet this is the situation that Britain finds itself in – the people who campaigned hardest for the UK to Leave the EU have no credible plan and simply complain that everyone else’s ideas are unworkable.
My suggestion to you, as unwelcome as it may be, is that you postpone the Brexit process and put the ball into the Brexiter’s court. Set forth a committee containing many of the leading Leave minds to create the credible plan that Britain needs. When the Committee formally reports back, their ultimate suggestions can be voted upon by both Houses and then taken to the EU whenever it is ready and approved, for negotiation. This period might take one week, one month, one year, or quite possibly will never be completed at all. Whatever the outcome, it will free the United Kingdom of this mess until a credible plan has been created.
For example, the requirements for a frictionless border between Ireland and Northern Ireland have exposed a technology gap. This new committee could truly explore all of the currently available options and take as much time as they need to get it right. If and when they find a credible technology, it can become a part of the process, to be added to other solutions that need to be found relating to Gibraltar, citizens rights, Dover, Single Market access, etc etc.
There should be little need for the EU to be involved in this process. Their negotiating position has been clear for a long time. Any Brexit committee report would need to take into account their reasonable refusal to let the UK “cherry pick” and avoid making “cakeish” requests that will obviously be rejected. When a full report has been created that is clearly reasonable and has a strong likelyhood of being agreed to by all parties, then negotiations can resume, knowing that the UK and EU positions are clearly understood.
I hope that this letter is received in the spirit in which it is intended. We all want what is best for the United Kingdom, whatever outcome that may be, but there seems little reason why investigating that process must be under such intense time pressure.