As to the Tories… December 7, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
The Tory party could lose the next general election if Theresa May alienates its core of moderate supporters by imitating Ukip and pushing through a hard Brexit, a group of former Conservative ministers and MPs says.
The warning to the prime minister from the party’s senior ranks comes after Tory voters turned to the pro-EU Lib Dems in droves in Thursday’s Richmond Park byelection, delivering one of the biggest electoral shocks of recent times.
Oddly, some of the arguments are very similar to those some of us would feel appropriate to the LP:
Writing in the Observer, the former Conservative cabinet minister, Dominic Grieve, ex-foreign office minister Alistair Burt and former transport minister Claire Perry, along with education select committee chair Neil Carmichael and Bath MP Ben Howlett, say the Richmond outcome must serve as a wake-up call to the prime minister.
“The Conservative party needs to be alert that there is a moderate core of Conservative voters, who voted Remain, and who want to hear the Conservative government speaking above the noise of the Brexiters,” they say. “They do not want the Conservative party to be Ukip-lite, nor to hear that their desire for a negotiated Brexit … is somehow an attempt to delay or simply an expression of Remoaning.
But it’s odd. With May, who isn’t so much a protean figure as one who is almost entirely opaque – to the extent that one has to wonder what if anything she actually believes in bar the curtest of soundbite, there’s a sense that she may not have any inkling of how to progress. This is no great surprise, as has been noted here before, a broad range of people, civil servants, think-tanks, economists and so on have pointed to the sheer scale of disengagement from the EU, a challenge so huge that it is quite literally overwhelming significant parts of the British government’s ability to govern.
And as ever the fact that the very term Brexit has no clear meaning adds to the confusion. It can – quite literally – mean whatever those who use it want.