Theresa May has done nothing to unite the country

Theresa May has done nothing to unite the country

One year after invoking Article 50, Theresa May is to visit a mother and toddler group in Newcastle, and is calling on the country to unite behind her Brexit vision - a Brexit which she herself (in April 2016) said would make the country less safe.

If the prime minister really wanted the country to unite after the 2016 referendum, she should have recognised the range of views that existed, and tried to draw people together then, but instead she has given in to the UKIP wing of her party and pursued an extreme form of Brexit, threatening to withdraw not just from the EU, but from almost anything associated with it - the single market, the European Medicines Agency, the European Economic Area, Euratom ... and many other things that were not on the ballot paper on 23rd June 2016.

The referendum was won by a narrow majority, with 27% of the electorate not voting and since then maybe a million young people have become old enough to vote. To describe Brexit as "the will of the people" is a statement of belief, not a statement of fact.

Even leaving aside questions about the role of Cambridge Analytica and how the Leave campaign may have over-promised and over-spent in the referendum, it is clear that Brexit is not going to give £350 million a week to the NHS, there won't be trade deals to sign as soon as we leave the EU, and there are too many questions about issues such as the Irish border, and how integrated international supply chains (that companies such as Nissan rely on) will be able to operate in Theresa May's brave new world.

Until she can give coherent answers to  these questions, why should Brexit-sceptics unite behind her version of Brexit?

If she really thinks she can deliver a wonderful Brexit deal, surely the best way to let the country unite around it would be to let the people of this country say if they think the deal is worth it? 

So, Theresa May, we hope you enjoy your visit to Newcastle and the North East. We remember your fine words in Downing Street when you became prime minister, but so far we haven't seen actions to match them. It is time to stop lecturing us and start delivering something we can really unite around.