Theresa May is the first minister in a democracy and says she is going to give the British people what they voted for. But they did not vote for a form of Brexit that might damage the economy? And when they voted for the UK to regain sovereignty, they were not voting for a Prime Minister to rule as if she was the sovereign.
Theresa May isn’t just heading for a hard Brexit. She has made it clear that the government – rather than MPs or voters – will decide what happens next. No wonder the shadow international trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, says she is assuming the arrogant powers of a Tudor monarch. The British did not vote for that.
Indeed, only 24.3% of the registered electorate voted for the current government and in Scotland that number was only 10.6%.
The Tories only won 36.7% of the vote in the last election, and as we know, Brexit was won by the narrowest of margins - and the outcome was swayed by disenchanted voters who saw the referendum as a protest.
A decent democracy, one that is stable, does not ignore the wishes of minorities.
The 48% of people who voted for the UK to stay in the EU mostly accept that Brexit is inevitable, but that does not mean that they accept the need for an extreme version, one that involves the complete severing of trading relationships with the EU, and instead relies on World Trade Organisation rules.
If the UK government chooses hard Brexit (call it clean Brexit if you will) it will not be giving the UK electorate what they voted for, it will be betraying the wishes of the 48% who voted to Remain, and almost certainly ignoring the wishes of many who voted Leave.
And given that the both Germany and France are seeing elections in 2017, and one of the favourites to win the French election, Nicholas Sarkozy, has made comments that are very supportive of the UK’s position, why commit the UK to a two-year timetable to leave the EU in March next year, when both the French and Germany may be reluctant to engage in negotiation until after their respective elections?
Mrs May says was a supporter of the Remain camp, but her actions since becoming Prime Minister seem to belie that claim. Instead we end up with Theresa Tudor and her three Brexiteers, that may sound like the stuff of swashbuckling fiction, but it is not democracy, and it may be far from the reality of what the UK needs.