U.K. op­po­nents of Brexit mull cen­trist po­lit­i­cal party

Cape Breton Post - - World - BY JILL LAW­LESS

Op­po­nents of Bri­tain’s de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union are float­ing the idea of set­ting up a new anti-Brexit po­lit­i­cal party.

James Chap­man, a for­mer top aide to Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis, has be­come an out­spo­ken critic of Bri­tain’s loom­ing de­par­ture from the 28-na­tion bloc.

He is call­ing for a new cen­trist po­lit­i­cal party be­cause both the gov­ern­ing Con­ser­va­tives and main op­po­si­tion Labour par­ties say they will go through with the de­ci­sion to leave.

Chap­man said Fri­day “there is an enor­mous gap in the cen­tre now of Bri­tish pol­i­tics” that could be filled by an anti-Brexit force. He said that two mem­bers of Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s Cab­i­net have con­tacted him to ex­press sup­port.

For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair has also called for pro-EU politi­cians from all par­ties to unite. Chap­man, a for­mer jour­nal­ist who was chief of staff to Davis un­til June, tweeted this week that “Brexit is a catas­tro­phe” and called on “sen­si­ble” law­mak­ers to re­verse it.

He has sug­gested the new party should be called the Democrats. But many politi­cians say Bri­tons demo­crat­i­cally voted to leave the bloc and it would be wrong to over­ride the de­ci­sion. Bri­tain is cur­rently ne­go­ti­at­ing its di­vorce from the EU and is due to leave in March 2019.

Progress has been slow on set­tling the big early is­sues, in­clud­ing the sta­tus of EU na­tion­als liv­ing in the U.K. and the size of the bill Bri­tain must pay to set­tle its com­mit­ments to the bloc. Mean­while, U.K. eco­nomic growth is fal­ter­ing amid un­cer­tainty about what the coun­try’s fu­ture trad­ing re­la­tion­ship with the EU will be.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.