It’s proving to be an eventful few days in Manchester Central. With hundreds of talking points, soundbites, stats and gaffs to digest, one thing that’s becoming alarmingly clear is that voices advocating a ‘No Brexit’ option are being drowned out by the sheer volume of the party line.
Despite Mrs May stating, in her Tuesday morning BBC interview, just how much she values having “a team of people of different voices around the table, so you can discuss matters,” this openness to discourse seems to only extend as far as her Cabinet members. Attendees at the Conservative Party Conference 2017 with a less favourable view of Brexit would be hard pressed to find any space or time given to their concerns.
With only 50 minutes of platform speech time allocated to discussing Brexit, the Conservatives seemed determined to freeze out the views of a huge portion of the voting public, and could do so at their peril.
And they’re not alone in attempting to brush aside the important questions and concerns many have about the process, and its long-term implications for the country:
“Both major parties seem desperate to avoid a serious debate on Brexit, but the public is not going to be fooled by attempts to say everything is going well,” says Eloise Todd, CEO of Best for Britain.
“The more desperate the political elite become to shut down debate about Brexit, the more panicked they look. The more urgent their calls on us to be ‘patriotic’ and avoid difficult questions, the more the whole thing looks like a conspiracy by the powerful to shut the rest out,” comments Eloise.
“How can it be right for the party of government to limit debate on the biggest issue facing Britain in sixty years to just 50 minutes of set-piece speeches?”
“The Tories paid a high price in the election campaign for their extreme pro-Brexit position. Now they want to close down debate as though ordinary people surrendered their right to an opinion in the referendum. Such arrogance will come with further damaging electoral consequences.”