Brexit : Ex-Vote Leave director Cummings warns of ‘train wreck’ … BBC
Brexit : Ex-Vote Leave director Cummings warns of ‘train wreck’
Brexit is destined to be a “train wreck” and Tory MPs should get rid of Theresa May to have any hope of staying in power, Dominic Cummings has claimed.
The former Vote Leave director said the civil service had made “no real preparations” for leaving the EU as most officials wanted the UK to remain.
Unless MPs “changed the political landscape”, the Tories risked losing the next election to Labour, he said.
Mrs May has indicated she wants to fight the next election as leader.
Some MPs are believed to harbour reservations about this after Mrs May lost the Conservatives’ majority in the 2017 election and had to strike a deal with the DUP.
In an open letter to Tory MPs and donors on his blog, Mr Cummings – an influential but controversial figure in shaping Vote Leave’s campaign message – said the government had “irretrievably botched” the Brexit
process since the June 2016 referendum vote, failing to take the “basic steps” needed for life outside the EU.
None of the infrastructure required to manage trade as a third country had been built, he claimed.
He suggested ministers who sought to make practical preparations were being “blocked” by officials whose priority was the “maintenance of this broken system and keeping Britain as closely tied to the EU as possible”.
“Whitehall’s real preparations are for the continuation of EU law and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice,” he wrote.
“The expectation is that MPs will end up accepting the terrible agreement as voting it down would be to invite chaos.
“In short, the state has made no preparations to leave and plans to make no preparations to leave even after leaving.”
Mr Cummings warned that Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, was more popular than the Tories believed and that the Tories were only doing so well in the polls because UKIP voters were backing them while “waiting until
they see how Brexit turns out”.
He urged MPs to act well before the date of the next election, scheduled to take place in 2022.
“There are things you can do to mitigate the train wreck,” he concluded.
“For example, it requires using the period summer 2019 to autumn 2021 to change the political landscape, which is incompatible with the continuation of the May-Hammond brand of stagnation punctuated by rubbish
“If you go into the 2022 campaign after five years of this and the contest is Tory promises versus Corbyn promises, you will be maximising the odds of Corbyn as prime minister.”