I hear and read briefings that say it is important for the government that the Brexit Committee of the Cabinet has a balance with equal numbers of Remain and Leave members. This surely is an out of date or wrong idea. There are pro Leave Cabinet members not currently on the Brexit Committee who could strengthen it. There is also now a vacancy for Home Secretary. I hope Iain Duncan Smith is appointed, as he has published a good plan for a better and fairer immigration system post Brexit and could speed the government’s work on it.
The government as a whole is meant to be dedicated to seeing through Brexit. It is meant to be united in public with a strong position to maximise our chances of a good deal rather than no deal, which we have been assured we will pursue rather than a bad deal. Such a course argues for a good majority on the Brexit Committee of strong supporters of Brexit.
It also means that Cabinet Ministers outside the Brexit Committee who were of the Leave faith should also be more willing to pursue a good Brexit rather than thinking their task in private is to dilute or delay departure. The issue of Brexit was settled almost two years ago by the people and their vote. That was reinforced by the 82% vote in the last election for the two main parties who both promised to see Brexit through, and by the strong vote of Parliament to send the Article 50 letter notifying the EU of our intention to leave next spring.
Any Cabinet Minister who tries to delay his or her department getting on with the necessary preparatory work to allow us to leave with or without a deal next March is undermining the government’s policy and the UK’s position in the negotiations. Cabinet Ministers who accept the collective line that we are leaving the EU, the single market and the customs union are getting on with preparing suitable plans. More importantly they should also be preparing their policies to take advantage of our ability to make our own laws, spend our own money and control our own borders once we are out. There are lots of wins for us as long as we do take back full control as soon as possible.
Those who have sought to delay exit by seeking a 21 month so called Transition should not also then seek to delay the necessary work for No Deal in case that turns out to be the best option.