The next couple of weeks will be crucial in deciding what happens with our exiting of the European Union. After very long and arduous negotiations, an agreement on exit terms has been agreed between the UK Government and the EU. Whatever you think of the deal, Theresa May deserves credit for getting us this far in difficult circumstances. She became Prime Minister in the aftermath of the referendum and has been tasked with delivering this democratic verdict of the British people.
With strong views on both sides, it has been an unenviable task for her. I firmly believe that our Prime Minister has an incredibly strong sense of public duty. This keeps her going against the odds amid the (often highly unpleasant) hostility that is directed at her from both sides. You could forgive anyone in that position for questioning why they bother to get up each day to put themselves through this ongoing onslaught.
Theresa May is doing what she genuinely believes is in the national interest. This means putting the Country’s interests ahead of those of the Conservative Party, and most definitely ahead of her own political future. Regardless of whether you agree with her or not, I feel that she deserves respect for her steadfast efforts in trying to unite our divided Country.
Any negotiation requires compromise. While I feel there has been EU intransigence, a withdrawal deal has been reached that Parliament can either accept or reject. It’s the only likely deal and claims that a much better UK deal could be negotiated by (insert your favourite politician) are wholly unrealistic. As a Leave voter, there are parts of the deal I’d like to see improved but as a pragmatist, I recognise that both sides being ideologically pure would mean no agreement.
The other options appear to be leaving without a deal which is likely to hurt the UK in the short-term; or not leaving at all and/or a second referendum, both of which would be an affront to democracy; or an early election that risks the disaster of a Corbyn / SNP Government at this crucial time.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
28th November 2018