At the end of a turbulent week in Westminster, Simon Clarke MP explains why a general election is necessary to break the Brexit deadlock.


"BRITAIN wants to have its say. I have absolute faith in the British people to find a way through where the Government and Parliament have failed. We must put this back in the people’s hands.”

These are not my words, nor even those of the Prime Minister.

They are the words of the Member of Parliament for Redcar, Anna Turley, a matter of months ago.

I was therefore surprised to read Ms Turley’s piece in this newspaper yesterday, in which she argued that “a general election will not end this paralysis”.

With this type of extraordinary flip-flopping, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Ms Turley considers the judgement the of the British people to be an occasional convenience – one to which she will only defer when it suits.

It is important to take stock of where we are. In recent days, Parliament – with the help of the Speaker – has seized control of the order paper, effectively usurping the normal constitutional role of government in this country.

This has enabled them to ram through legislation which would force our Government to beg the EU for another extension and prevent us leaving on October 31.

Worse still, this Surrender Bill hands power to the EU to decide when we finally get to leave – paying billions for every month we remain.

When Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July, he was crystal clear that the endless dithering, delays and pointless extensions must end, and that we would be leaving in the EU on October 31 come what may.

Parliament, however, are intent to prevent this from happening. It is clear that the majority of Members of Parliament have never truly reconciled themselves with the people’s decision to leave the European Union and will seemingly stop at nothing to thwart it.

It is for this reason that a general election is now necessary: it would allow the people to break this ridiculous deadlock and make a clear choice: between leaving the European Union on October 31 (deal or no deal), and more delay, more time wasted, and more begging the EU for concessions and extensions.

Remarkably, however, the Labour Party – who only last week were calling the Prime Minister a dictator and demanding a general election to be called– have voted against holding one.

In a further display of breath-taking arrogance, Labour have said that they will only allow the people to vote in an election after they have removed the possibility of leaving on October 31.

In other words, they are happy to ask you, the electorate, to go out a vote to put them back into office, but not happy to give you the right to decide – at the ballot box – whether we should leave the European Union on October 1 as promised.

Besides defeating the whole point of having a general election at this time, this position exposes the Labour Party’s fear of facing the voters in this country who they have spent the past two and a half years betraying.

After all, if Labour really believed they could win an election on October 15, why would they need to pass their Surrender Bill first?

If they won, there would still be plenty of time for them to extend Article 50 or even cancel Brexit altogether (something many of them have already admitted to wanting to do).

At the last general election, nearly all Labour MPs won seats – particularly in the North East – standing on a platform to respect the referendum result.

They’ve failed, and now they refuse to face the voters until it’s too late.

Labour’s combination of cowardice and hypocrisy in this whole affair makes for an ugly stench – one that will follow them around for many years to come.

  • Simon Clake is the Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland