A former UK government minister responsible for European Union withdrawal has warned that delaying Brexit would have serious implications for the British democracy as it would push the country toward the governance style of US President Donald Trump.
“Britain will get its Trump moment,” said David Davis, a prominent member of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, on Sunday, adding, “It would absolutely undermine belief in democracy in this country and certainly belief in the establishment political parties.”
Davis, who was speaking to the BBC, made the remarks as members of the parliament were preparing for a second vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU. If the deal is rejected in the Tuesday vote, the lawmakers could then vote on a delay to Brexit beyond the official departure date of March 29.
Pro-Brexit lawmakers like Davis believe an extension to Britain’s two-year negotiating period with the EU could finally lead to a cancellation of Brexit, as demanded by senior members of the opposition Labour Party.
Davis insisted that leaving without a deal at the end of March would deliver on the votes of around 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit in the June 2016 referendum while it would also win the trust of the wider public about democratic procedures in Britain.
“The British people who voted for this – and a large number of Remainers who didn’t vote for it but still think it should be carried through because they believe in democracy – will see a government, a parliament, walking away from a question that they themselves put to the people,” he said.
Experts have warned that a no-deal Brexit, still believed to be a highly likely scenario, could have dire impacts on the British economy. Others like Davis believe the impacts would be felt only for a short time and Britain would emerge more powerful in future.
Davis and others have vowed they would support May’s Brexit deal if she can gain last-minute concessions from the EU on a clause in the deal which sets out rules for future administration of the Irish border.