The former Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, has warned the Government that unless Chequers is abandoned, voters will begin to reject mainstream politics.
Writing for Conservative Home, Ms Patel said that the Chequers plan would be a “disaster for this country” because it sacrifices control of laws and borders to the European Union. However, she also said it treats the British people like “fools” and means they are constantly being “talked down to” by big business and the establishment.
— ConservativeHome (@ConHome) August 28, 2018
The consequences of such a discourse will only cause a further deterioration in “public trust and confidence” and will contribute to the rise in fringe parties that has been so prominent across Europe.
Ms Patel pointed to Greece, Sweden, Italy, Germany and Austria as countries who have moved towards fringe parties. We will only follow the same path if we continue with Chequers, she warns, saying that “we will face a crisis of democracy in which ordinary people will utterly lose their faith and trust in politics and in politicians.”
The avid campaigner of Leave means Leave, Ms Patel said that the EU’s influence is beginning to wane. “Europe used to account for 30 per cent of the world economy a few decades ago. Now it’s just 15 per cent. Meanwhile, 90 per cent of future global growth is set to come from the rest of the world.”
Therefore, she argued, it makes little sense to leave Europe in all but name. She said “we should be free from Europe and free to engage with the rest of the world. Yet this message of freedom, optimism and ambition for the future is completely absent from Government. Instead all we get is doom-mongering, endless Project Fear, and bullying threats from the EU.”
Ms Patel said that the Government must be confident and reject the tactics used by Project Fear. She warned that
the time has come for our political leaders to believe in Britain and in the British people. “The Conservative Party had thought that because of Brexit we had finished off UKIP at the last General Election. Yet if we fail to take back control of our laws, borders and money we will feed their re-emergence and the rise of other parties. That is what happens when mainstream politicians fail to address the concerns of the voters.”
Ms Patel concluded by saying that the only way Britain can be the truly independent country that the British people voted for, is to chuck Chequers and believe in Britain.