Now Tory rebels must lis­ten to the peo­ple

Daily Mail - - Countdown To Brexit D-day -

HAV­ING de­camped to their con­stituen­cies af­ter a tu­mul­tuous week in­side the West­min­ster bub­ble, Tory MPs have one last op­por­tu­nity this week­end to talk to some real peo­ple be­fore Tues­day’s vote on Theresa May’s Brexit plan.

In case they need re­mind­ing, these are the peo­ple they’re paid to rep­re­sent – peo­ple whose lives, fam­i­lies, jobs and in­comes will be pro­foundly af­fected by how (or in­deed if) we leave the EU.

An orderly de­par­ture would prompt an im­me­di­ate eco­nomic up­turn and pro­vide the prom­ise of fu­ture pros­per­ity. A dis­or­derly one threat­ens chaos, uncer­tainty and slump.

So as they press the flesh at Christ­mas fetes and gaily turn on fes­tive lights, the Honourable Members should lis­ten care­fully to what their con­stituents have to say.

And the way they vote on Tues­day should be driven by concern for the wel­fare of those real peo­ple – not by some misty-eyed, ide­o­log­i­cal fan­tasy of a per­fect Brexit.

For the Mail has this message for those MPs who be­lieve there may be a bet­ter with­drawal deal avail­able: There isn’t!

De­spite their con­stant blus­ter, the hard Brex­i­teers have no real al­ter­na­tive, be­yond a Gadarene rush to­wards no- deal. As count­less busi­ness lead­ers have told us, that would bring a whole new world of eco­nomic pain.

Mean­while, Re­main­ers want to ig­nore the ref­er­en­dum re­sult and send us crawl­ing back to Brus­sels with our tail be­tween our legs. That would be a na­tional hu­mil­i­a­tion. And an af­front to democ­racy.

The truth is that or­di­nary vot­ers are sick and tired of this Par­lia­men­tary Punch and Judy show. They hunger for grown-up com­pro­mise and cer­tainty, so they can get on with their lives in peace.

As ev­i­dence of this, opin­ion polls show a grow­ing mo­men­tum be­hind Mrs May’s deal, very lit­tle ap­petite for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum and an ab­so­lute hor­ror of no deal.

Re­mark­ably, the statis­tics also demon­strate that for all her tra­vails, the Prime Minister’s sat­is­fac­tion rat­ings con­tinue to be strong – and not just among Con­ser­va­tives.

In an Ip­sos Mori poll yes­ter­day, two thirds of Tory vot­ers said they thought she was do­ing a good job (up from 57 per cent two months ago).

In­deed, this was con­sid­er­ably ahead of the 49 per cent sat­is­fac­tion rat­ing Jeremy Cor­byn had among his own party sup­port­ers.

This is a trib­ute to Mrs May’s re­silience and broad ap­peal. If she can achieve this kind of pop­u­lar­ity while dozens of her own MPs are work­ing to un­der­mine her, imag­ine what heights she could scale if they all united be­hind her. And to those who wish to un­seat her, we ask this ques­tion: Who do you think would do a bet­ter job? Whether Leaver or Re­mainer, any suc­ces­sor would still be faced with the same ag­o­nis­ing Brexit mi­graine, the same hung Parliament and the same frac­tious, di­vided party.

The Prime Minister is try­ing to spread balm on Tory wounds. Some of the pre­tenders to her crown would pre­fer to dose them with salt.

True, the May plan is far from per­fect. But it does ful­fil most of the prin­ci­pal Brexit cri­te­ria. And cru­cially, it’s the only co­her­ent pro­posal on the ta­ble.

So be­fore re­ject­ing it, the rebels must face up to bru­tal re­al­ity. As we have said be­fore, it’s ei­ther Mrs May’s deal, no-deal, or no Brexit.

And of course, they are run­ning the ul­ti­mate risk – that by bring­ing Mrs May down they could has­ten a Labour/SNP gov­ern­ment, which would wreak un­told dam­age on this coun­try.

Dis­si­dent Tory MPs should ask their con­stituents what they think of that grotesque prospect.

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