December: We are living in times of profound political significance which will shape all our futures. The stakes are high and the kind of Brexit that is delivered will impact our economy, jobs and public services more than any other political decision.
It is tragic that for at least three years now, the significant problems that our country is facing: the plight of our NHS, mental health services, the rise of violent crime, the scourge of hunger and homelessness and deep social inequality, are being largely ignored by the Government as so much of Parliamentary time is consumed with Brexit concerns and legislation.
What the country needed was strong, honest, collegiate leadership but from day one the Prime Minister chose to go it alone, trying to deny Parliament a right to vote on the deal and she made no attempt to garner cross-party support, which is what she inevitably needed to get the final deal through Parliament.
Parliament and the country have been caught in the cross-fire of a 40-year civil war in the Tory Party so rather than put the interests of the country first. Brexit has become solely about the internal wrangles of the Conservative Party.
That is why the Prime Minister has forged ahead, not listening to anyone even when she lost the snap General Election, which she promised the country she wouldn’t call, but then proceeded in an attempt to take advantage of favourable polling in 2016.
Far from delivering a strong and stable Government, the Prime Minister lost the election and her hard Brexit mandate in 2016 and it’s been downhill ever since.
The Opposition has had to force vital information out of the Government every step of the way including the Brexit impact assessments which revealed the damage to various sectors of society.
Just a few weeks ago, MPs passed a historic motion to hold the government in contempt over its failure to release the cabinet legal advice on the Brexit deal.
It revealed we would be trapped in the Northern Ireland backstop to protect the Good Friday Agreement to have no hard border, and at the mercy of an EU we no longer had any influence over to grant us permission to get out of it.
Just a week later, to avert humiliating defeat, the Prime Minister prevented parliament from voting on her Brexit Agreement by pulling the vote she and her ministers insisted would go ahead even on the day it was withdrawn in a move an unimpressed Commons speaker described as “deeply discourteous”.
The great irony is that Brexit was supposed to be about upholding our sovereignty and democracy but time and time again the Prime Minister has held parliament, the public, and our democratic processes in contempt.
Theresa May has survived a vote of no confidence launched by her own MPs but at the cost of public trust in Parliament.
Afraid of losing the vote, the whip restored two Conservative MPs accused of sexually inappropriate misconduct in a shameful display of political power being put ahead of protecting victims of sexual abuse.
The public are incensed by the shambolic governance and Tory in-fighting and are crying out for stable leadership and a Government to tackle the problems facing people day-to-day.
Parliament is at the very heart of our democracy and we all suffer when the rule of law and decency is cast aside for party gain.
This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mohammad Yasin MP and published unedited.