We’ve got one. We voted for it. We’d best make the best of it. Here’s what our leaders could do to make it work.
1. May faces reality and tells us she will hang around only long enough to instil some stability, as she’s hinted. That means she opens up talks with the other parties to make sure we have a more consensual approach over the next few months.
2. We all know there’ll need to be another election, but it needs to be orderly because Brexit talks start now. So there should be a working assumption that the next four months will see a minority Tory government not introduce any radical bills that will be voted down. We know that would be chaos.
3. Thus, there will be a modest Finance Bill and some relatively uncontroversial domestic measures in the Queens Speech. The parties and the voters need a rest. So no votes on fox hunting or plans for grammar schools or a dementia tax – and no hard Brexit. No coalitions or deals are needed in the short run.
4. The opposition parties should be brought into the Brexit process via a special cross-party cabinet consultative committee. This could derided as a coalition of chaos, but we are where we are. It means broad national agreement on the terms of a soft Brexit, and basic aims over issues such as the divorce bill.
Each party appoints their reps for the core Brexit group – Keir Starmer, Vince Cable, David Davis – who will drive the talks. It will actually be more stable than the alternatives. The Northern Irish parties and the SNP also need to be involved.
5. Elect a new Tory leader, and gear up for the October 2017 election, when we can do it all over again.
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