This pantomime parliament is turning tragic

Labour MP Neil Coyle

My fellow parliamentarians should remember that voters will not forgive those who stand by and allow the country to be downgraded, says Labour MP NEIL COYLE

Boris playing the rear of the ass and David Davis widow Twanky may appear funny to some but our Parliament becoming a pantomime is far from amusing for our country, the rest of Europe or the world.

Internal Tory shenanigans are dominating both headlines and how they govern, whilst negotiations on the most important issue facing our country have ground to a halt.

This failure to even negotiate how to leave the EU sends a terrible message to employers across the UK and beyond. Sterling's slump, the decimation of investment, the inability to retain legal partnerships which could cost billions to the UK economy in aviation, pharmaceuticals and insurance alone, all scream out for action. But Tory backbenchers and moderates are frozen and powerless behind the Brextremist beasts running May's regime.

In the continued dominance of Brextremists, the UK also seems to be saying that we are willing to submit to economic penury in the interests of a backwards mindset that believes we could be better off by severing ties with the wealthiest and most influential trading bloc on the planet.

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Their assertion comes without evidence and yet it is the realists exposing the lack of clothes that Emperor May is wearing who are hounded as 'saboteurs' and accused of 'talking down the economy'. Misguided doesn't begin to describe this ludicrous position.

Shrill cries of 'the will of the people' simply don't cut it when ministers fail to stand up when our motor manufacturing sector expect thousands of job losses, when our world-leading insurance sector says leaving will cost £7.8 billion in severed contracts, when our international universities report a 7% drop in applications from the other 27 EU member states, when our first class NHS sees a 96% drop in other EU nationals seeking nursing positions, when thousands of finance jobs head abroad, and when security risks are exposed.

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Some Leavers do, however, recognise that if they go about this May's way, with its associated damage and turmoil, the campaign to re-join the EU will swiftly follow, dragging political capital and voters' goodwill with it.

Even if the EU insisted on Schengen, the euro and no rebate, that still might make new membership more attractive than the shambolic mess this Government is creating and the subsequent economic damage it will entail. The cautious recognise that they will be held to account by voters and future generations when further jobs and opportunities are lost and our economy is sacrificed.

The irony for the likes of Iain Duncan Smith is that their ideological aim of leaving the EU may well result in greater integration of the UK within the EU if we re-join on weaker terms. I remain opposed to leaving full stop and we should all be aware that votes on the EU Withdrawal Bill and its inherent self-harm will be scrutinised heavily in the months and years to come, for who stood up to Brexit's worst extremes and those who stood by and allowed our country to be so shamefully downgraded.

Only the foolhardy and absurd will continue to support outright the farce of a pantomime this Government is imposing on Parliament.

Neil Coyle is the Labour MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

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