Parliament right to take a break?

We could all do with a bit of time off

Download Perspecs

Is parliament right to take a break from Brexit?

By Joe Harker

The UK got a Brexit delay until October 31 and soon afterwards parliament took an easter break. Told to take "time to reflect on the issues", MPs have a chance to take their noses away from the daily grind and get a bit of a mental break from Brexit.

The prime minister still wants a deal to be passed as soon as possible and will continue to meet with the opposition for cross party talks but parliament will not sit in the House of Commons, allowing them to return to their constituencies and have a bit of time off from the all consuming supernatural abyss that is Brexit.

The Claim:

As much as we don't want to mention the dreaded B word for a while this delay does come right after European council president Donald Tusk told the UK not to waste the time they'd been given from a delay.

It is perhaps not the ideal reaction to being given more time to fix a problem to then immediately go on holiday. Warnings of wasting time followed by a break are not exactly the best way of heeding those alerts.

Six months sounds like a lot of time but it will soon be over and cannot be used as a chance for politicians to turn the clock back six months and return to old arguments. This will require as much understanding from political leaders as it does from MPs.

The fast approaching deadline forced many politicians into adopting positions they would not normally support. They backed deals and alliances out of what they thought was necessity, now they have more time it would be expected for many of them to climb down from their positions.

The Counter Claim:

On the other hand, we're all suffering from Brexit fatigue and the MPs whose work in parliament has been consumed by the subject are likely suffering most of all. A person at the end of their tether is unlikely to make the best decisions and the UK is facing one of the biggest in history.

The country needs its politicians to be in the right frame of mind and the electorate is quite sick of hearing about it. Everyone could do with a little bit of time off to bring an end to the relentless churn of related news and come back with a fresh perspective.

The UK is sick of big votes and the seemingly endless debate over the results of a vote taken almost three years ago. It has dominated headlines for so long that the public has become desensitized, with many not caring about the details and just wishing their politicians got on with it.

News and updates on the same subject for months on end has left the country frazzled and desperate, it makes a lot of sense to take a week off and come back with a fresh perspective.

The Facts:

MPs are away from the Commons until April 23, giving them a break they surely would not have experienced without an extension to Article 50.

As much as we might hope our politicians would take a bit of time off and gather their thoughts, many of them are instead gathering their allies and hatching plans for the next few months.

Many Conservatives are planning for a leadership race as Theresa May has promised to go in the event of her deal being agreed or a general election being held. Many in her party believe she needs to go sooner rather than later and the likely candidates to replace her will use the delay to plan their run for Tory leadership.

Meanwhile, Labour will keep talking to the Tories over the chances of a cross party deal but they will also have to revisit their own policy in case those negotiations come to nothing. Talks have reportedly hit an impasse again and the party needs to figure out what option it will champion in case cross party efforts fail.

Until next week that's all we'll say about it. Enjoy the time off!

Download Perspecs
Download Perspecs