What If…I was the next Prime Minister?
Let’s first clear up a few perhaps obvious points. Firstly I am unlikely to be. It’s not completely impossible of course but highly unlikely. The greater likelihood being that following Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation today the next British PM will be a Conservative member of Parliament, chosen by the national registered Conservative Party Membership from a whittled down list of two candidates who emerge following a public bun flinging contest on Newsnight. Apologies if I haven’t quite got the grip of the contest rules exactly accurately.
But if I were how would I proceed with the main agendas we face at the moment?
Well firstly, and when I say firstly it means firstly after appointing all the cabinet postings, getting a new key for Number 10, thinking up a secure password for the Nuke buttons and popping over to see The Queen etc. Firstly, I would need to do something about the most pressing issue of the day. Brexit.
I would immediately appoint two very senior Ministerial positions. A Brexit one and another to handle everything else. With overall responsibility remaining with myself, like all good leaders.
The one handling everything else would have to coordinate the economy, education issues, defence, security, work, pensions, foreign relationships etc just like a normal PM but crucially not concern themselves overtly with Brexit. That would be the sole job of the other one. Each having equal rank and status, both reporting to me.
This way Brexit, whilst crucial to our situation, would not dominate everything else but still be ranked as highly important.
On the subject of Brexit the clock is ticking away with the latest date being the end of October when France et all will apparently cut loose the chains that bind us to Europe and we will float off to a Neverland of uncertainty. Theresa May’s departure shows that getting agreement on a deal to stop all this happening in an uncontrolled way is extremely difficult.
To resolve this issue I would immediately revoke the current deal and start again. This will need some time so to do this I would revoke Article 50 with a note that it is not over yet backed up by waving a new yet to be signed Withdrawal Notice at the EU saying that this is still the direction to go.
This would give time to freshly recommence the negotiations and they would start on the premise of a simple No Deal.
In truth nobody wants No Deal but the general public understand what this means and delivers on many of the concerns that drove the albeit marginal victory result of the June 2016 Election.
Because neither the EU nor the UK want a sterile No Deal I would be able to add back in the less controversial issues such as retaining cooperation on security issues such as continuing support of defence and international policing, on international ecological and climate issues, on medical and technological research projects, on food and industry standards, and on human rights and minimum wages issues.
There would be no legal precedent issues on any of these, to avoid UK Sovereignty being undermined. Just good old common sense adoption of common standards and regulations to keep things aligned.
The EU may be minded to set about these fresh negotiations with an agenda of their own choosing, notably once more wanting to agree a ‘divorce bill’ first but this would not be acceptable. The value of the ‘divorce’ would be considered but it would be a calculation based on fairness when all else is ready to go. And the threat of a stark No Deal would remain to concentrate their minds if they get all bossy again.
I think the above would be a great way to start as a PM. And don’t forget the other senior Minister would be immediately free to set to work on the other pressing issues of the day from debt reduction and the economy to Health and Food Banks.
And if you want to know what I would do on the second day as PM you will just have to get me elected.
Author: Vince Poynter
An original post for this site dated 24 May 2019
To be added to the Political Section section of my web site in due course
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