Andrea Pisauro wants to bring back democracy to the Brexit deal. His recommendation, take a break.
Since September of this year, Andrea, an Italian neuroscience student at Oxford University has been working with a national campaign that aims to ‘take back control’ of the democratic principles and the voice of the people that he and others feel has been overtaken by the British government.
With the homestretch for Brexit in sight, but still very much uncertain, Take A Break From Brexit wants to encourage decision makers to delay the deal for at least year. ‘We think that we need more time and investment in the democratic process to understand what to make of Brexit.’, Pisauro said.
He explains that the campaign believes the British government’s claim to be interpreting the will of the British is unfounded and this hasn’t be helped by ‘two years of secretative negotiations, ignoring British citizens, ignoring the devolved administrations in the four corners of the UK and even the Parliament and they are imposing a top-down Brexit that no one likes.’
‘We need the third option’
Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, a member state wanting to leave the Union has three options after triggering the two year process.
Number One; negotiate a deal over two years with the EU Council, and then exit…
Number Two; leave the EU after two years without a deal,
Number Three; provided the EU Council agrees on consensus, the leaving member state will get an extension.
Pisauro says that so far, the third option has only been discussed in certain sectors of the UK Parliament, among clusters of MPs from the left side of the Parliament with nothing joined up or concerted.
TABFB says that they would like the UK parliament to discuss and vote on the third option but this will require the EU to also agree to this.
Pisuaro says that the EU has not been very keen on the idea but, he explains, the campaign wants,
‘to make the case that the extension is in the benefit of everyone and all the actors involved because it would create a very different kind of democratic process and a more legitimate agreement that brings people together’
Bottom up approach not top down
Asking about the current deal and the deferring of the discussion and vote in the Parliament, Pisauro is blunt. Theresa May’s deal is, ‘not progressive but its too moderate to please the right side of the house so her only chance to have it pass through parliament is to ensure there is no prevent any alternatvie even be discussed. ’
‘her strategy is to delay the deal until the very last minute ot prevent any alternative to be considered its a take it or leave it choice.’, Pisauro says.
Last week the Prime Minister managed to survive a No-Confidence vote from Conservative MPs who considered her decision to delay the Brexit deal vote a sign of weakness in both her leadership and her deal.
She explained that she needed to ‘seek reassurances’ and ‘clarifications’ from the EU over the Irish Backstop. For Pisauro, clarifications are just that, clarifications and they will not lead to concessions.
As of today (Tuesday 18th December), it is understood that the Prime Minister Theresa May has officially said that she will be holding the vote from the 14th of January.
That’s still remote from the very people it will affect. To democratise the process and push for a delay, Pisauro says TABFB is focusing on a bottom-up approach, bringing local communities together, both Leavers and Remainers and those who were unable to vote, to have their say.
‘The time has come for democratic discussion’
Take A Break From Brexit officially launched on the 12th of December in London, with a panel bringing together Leavers, Remainers, EU experts and journalists to discuss the future of Brexit.
Pisauro says this is the first time that people from both sides can actually speak to each-other about what Brexit means for them and how it will affect them.
He explains that this is just the start. The intention is take this movement across the entire length and breadth of the UK, engaging people properly and in an informative and discursive way.
‘We’re a mostly young orientated bunch of people, we’re looking to the future rather than to the past.’