LETTER: Politics - Bleak future for party?

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Voters in Derbyshire Dales, regardless of allegiance, should be writing to our MP, the Conservative Party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin, warning him of the cliff edge that faces his party.

I’m not talking about Brexit and the prospect of no deal, a catastrophe for the nation, but the possible destruction of his party at the next election.

It is ironic that a Brexit referendum was called to hold his party together, and then a general election held to consolidate the position of the prime minister.

The outcomes of both have been disastrous for his party, which now, in my opinion, faces oblivion.

In the end, the party probably won’t disappear - its genius has always been to change when necessary, however improbable the U-turns involved. The party even faced down the landowners when the Corn Laws divided it in the 19th century.

Just now, increasingly outlandish demands are being made by some Conservative MPs about Brexit, especially those concerning no deal, on the grounds it will all be fine. I know Sir Patrick finds them utterly distasteful. He was, and is, a Remainer.

But the awful truth is that the analysis of the Brexiteers is correct.

They can see a no deal outcome being perfectly likely. Any conceivable outcome of the current negotiations would not command the support of MPs generally, either because it would be too like the current arrangements or too unlike them. The crucial point, though, is that such a deal would not command enough support in the country to settle matters.

That deal is going to have to be approved officially.

And finally we’d be presented with the choice that has always been ducked.

Does the UK leave the EU at all costs, or do we stay wholeheartedly in?

This question will be resolved eventually, either in a referendum or at a general election.

If the Conservative Party decides it will go for ‘leave at all costs’, it will be marmalised, and will never recover. Sir Patrick knows this.

He can kick the venomous can down the road for a bit longer, but the game is up. And Sir Patrick knows this too.

Let’s write to tell him how much we would support a brave statement on Brexit from the Conservative Party chairman.

It’s time to face down the headbangers, the bigots, the blinkered nationalists, and the stupid, and to save a decent part of the Conservative Party, if not all of it.

Ian Wood

Green Party, 
Derbyshire Dales, Bakewell