Britain must have a general election before activating Article 50

Nick Clegg, former leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats and former deputy prime minister, writes: Who would have thought? The Conservative party, the party of continuity and tradition, is now the cause of the greatest constitutional crisis in modern times. The party of business is now the source of reckless economic turmoil. The natural party of government is now presiding over paralysis in Westminster and Whitehall. The party of the British bulldog spirit is now leading our great country towards rudderless introspection.

There is something almost grotesque in the contrast between the self-indulgence of the Conservative leadership contest and the anxiety gripping millions of families worried about the future. The media swarms around Michael Gove’s self-absorbed pronouncements justifying the tawdry betrayal of his friends.

A nervous nation, unsure what it has done to itself, is subject to the tedious, vituperative comments from one Conservative nonentity about another. No wonder Theresa May – a diligent, hard-working if unimaginative politician – stands out as a grownup in that political playground.

This cannot go on. Somehow we must navigate the country through the months ahead. The government not only finds itself without leadership, it has no plan, no consensus and no clue about what it wants to do in the future. The only thing it agrees on is that the UK should leave the EU. But how, when and to what end all remain unanswered. It enjoys a mandate to quit, but no mandate as to how this should be done. [Continue reading…]

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