2019 was a year of political turmoil, with a disruptive House of Commons that sought to find any way possible to stop the democratic 2016 referendum result for the UK to leave the EU. It was an unedifying spectacle and a lot of trust was lost in politicians because of it, including the appalling then-Speaker of the House who presided over it all. It really had become a political war of attrition and my view was that regardless of whether you were for ‘leave’ or ‘remain’, there was a more fundamental principle of democracy at stake that meant Brexit must be delivered. Also, most people outside of the Westminster bubble and the Islington Metropolitan elite, just wanted to get Brexit resolved and to move on.
Thankfully, the British people spoke again last month and cleared out many of the saboteurs in the House of Commons, giving Boris Johnson and the Conservatives an 80-seat majority. That changed everything and means that finally, this week we will be leaving the EU on Friday the 31st at 11pm. This will be an historic occasion for our great country but also for democracy.
The democracy point is actually two-fold. Firstly it’s about delivering on what we voted for, and secondly it will herald in a new age of democracy in the UK where there is greater political accountability because we will be making all our own decisions here, as opposed to the path we were previously on of ever-greater decision-making taking place in Brussels.
With Brexit finally delivered, the whole country can move on and our politicians can focus on the issues that matter to our everyday lives. That in itself is something to celebrate given the political shenanigans of the last three years. However, let’s not forget that Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer would have had us having a second referendum had they won last month’s general election. That would have kept Brexit uncertainty and arguments going for years, creating further division and distrust. It's time to move on and that alone is well worth raising a glass to this Friday evening.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
29th January 2020