houses of parliament
17/12/2017
Tim Levchenko-Scott
Opinion
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UK Parliament invites Nigel Farage to return to main stage

The UK parliament last week ensured a crucial amendment to the proposed EU Withdrawal Bill. A group of 12 ‘rebel’ Tories defied their party whip. These were not Eurosceptics upset at the utter capitulation of Theresa May in the negotiations and the wetness of the deal,  effectively leaving Britain still beholden to the EU in so many ways.  No, this was a group of pro-EU Conservative MPs who joined with Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists to ensure that Parliament would have a ‘meaningful say’ on the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Naturally, they are now spinning this as striking a blow for parliamentary sovereignty and reining in the ‘Henry VIII’ powers enshrined in Clause 9 of the Bill, giving the executive powers to do as it likes.  Key rebel MP, Dominic Grieve - a Remainer - disingenuously pointed out to The Independent that there were both Remainers and hard core Brexiteers challenging the government in the debate.  He failed to point out that none of those who actually rebelled in the vote were hard core Brexiteers.

Parliament voted 6 to 1 to give the British people the final say on whether to leave the EU or not.  The British people voted to leave.  This is simply another way of potentially delaying or sabotaging Brexit.  The whole point of having a binding referendum on something like EU membership is to let the people decide.  The people are now relying on a government led by a Remainer to negotiate a deal with the EU.  The details we know so far suggest it could be a very ‘soft’ Brexit.  The European Court of Justice will continue to have a powerful role in British affairs for a long and at present indefinite period of time after Brexit. This would then impact on Britain’s capacity to fully control its’ immigration policy.

Could we be seeing the stars gradually aligning to herald the return to the main stage of British politics for Nigel Farage ?  A few more months of capitulation to the EU by Mrs May, or any more signs that Parliament may undermine the referendum vote at some point and the conditions could be right for a return.  If not with a resurgent UKIP, who are experiencing serious leadership and organisational problems, then possibly with ‘another vehicle’ as Farage himself put it in this Financial Times article.