Over the last two weeks parliament has descended even further into a state of chaos, unable to agree a withdrawal deal and incapable of finding a way through this crisis.
Following talks in Brussels this week, the date of the UK’s departure from the EU has been delayed until 12 April if parliament cannot agree a deal, and 22 May if it can.
A no deal exit would have a devastating impact on many sectors of the economy, and on public servants who would have to respond to the serious challenges it would pose for the UK.
An extension to Article 50 was necessary, but it is hard to see what an extra two weeks of delay will achieve. Attempting to threaten MPs with either no deal or no Brexit has failed and is fundamentally damaging our politics.
The government needs to fundamentally change strategy, listen to unions, businesses and others, and abandon the prime minister’s self-defeating red lines. That will require a much longer extension, and parliament must make that clear to the prime minister next week.
More than ever, it is clear that this question cannot be left to politicians alone. Any deal agreed by the EU and the UK in the next few weeks or months must be ratified by the public if it is to command any legitimacy.
Prospect will continue to argue for the interests of our members and to offer support to those affected by Brexit.