Contrary to what may are saying, the Tory election debacle was not about Brexit. Rather, the election was about everything but Brexit.
Sure, the youth vote, turned out en masse for Corbyn, but Labour and Corbyn himself had already admitted the Brexit reality.
Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg explains nicely in This election created no mandate for watering down Brexit. There must be no backsliding.
Negotiations are about to start, and the nation cannot afford to show weakness across the channel. Already, people who never wanted to leave the European Union are calling for a change of tune, by which they mean a reversal of the referendum. “Hard” and “soft” Brexit are code words for leaving or staying in the EU, rather than for the terms of our departure. No such denial of the people’s will can be permitted.
Indeed, the essence of our strength is in the negotiating reality that no deal really is better than a bad deal. By the end of March 2019, if nothing has been agreed, we leave with all our money, laws and border controls, and the ability to trade with the EU the way we successfully do with everyone else. This is rather an attractive position, and much preferable to being a European satrapy. Mrs May seems to be aware of the strength of this position, and that is a good reason for her to remain.
As for the claim that this result means Mrs May must now drop her approach to Brexit and seek to keep Britain inside the European Economic Area, that is simply wrong. Although the Tory party hoped that the general election of 2017 would be about Brexit, it was not. Indeed, it was about everything except Brexit – social care, grammar schools, foxhunting – and the cleverness of Labour’s campaign was to leave Brexit alone. It is clear that voters did not want to be asked the same question twice; one decision was made in 2016, and fresh ones were to be made on Thursday. Similarly, the Scots showed they did not want to be asked the same question multiple times, hence the SNP’s decline.
This means that there is no mandate at all from this election for undermining Brexit. Remainers kept quiet during the campaign because they knew the matter was settled – with the exception of the Lib Dems, who, despite getting a few seats, are irrelevant.
The Labour Party likewise made no serious challenge to the outline set out by the Prime Minister. This election was therefore a tacit endorsement of Mrs. May’s Brexit strategy, for voters showed no desire to change it; it is better that she should carry it out.
MP Daniel Hannan Tweets
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May’s Mistake Not What Most Suggest
The youth vote turned out, en masses, demanding “free stuff”.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock