Westminster to stage Brexit debate Mrs May wants to stifle
At last! Westminster is to stage the proper debate about Brexit which the government has worked hard to stifle since June. As a result, The Convention is filling the Westminster void on May 12-13 with a 2-day public event entitled “Brexit and the Political Crash”.
It will analyse the wide implications of Brexit and the political fallout across the UK, Ireland and beyond.
The prime minister appears keen to avoid televised as well as parliamentary debates about the nature and implication of Brexit. On the election campaign trail political reporters complain she is keeping them at arm’s length. She has triggered Article 50 but seems anxious to stifle open and frank discussion on what the Washington Post called the “worst political crisis for the UK since 1940”.
The response by other senior Cabinet ministers is hard to fathom. David Davis has admitted his government has done no economic assessment on the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal. Boris Johnson and Liam Fox have delivered opposing Brexit messages – and that’s the assessment of the Daily Express.
The discussions at Central Hall, Westminster will focus on the danger posed to democratic and liberal values in the UK and across the West. In a time when experts are derided in favour of populist slogans, the Convention will hear leading voices from politics, culture, academia, law, journalism and business.
The Convention will seek to augment the debate with detailed sessions on the future of Northern Ireland and Scotland, on the causes of populism, on migration and foreign nationals, on politics and the media in the post-truth age and, crucially, on the NHS.
With Stormont closed for business, and talks to revive the Good Friday institutions slipping further down the government’s agenda, perhaps some of our MPs could attend to make known their concerns for the region which has so much to lose in a post-hard Brexit landscape.