New British Prime Minister Theresa May says that she will make the BrExit a success, and that the majority has spoken so there is no way back. This is one of the most silly things that a Prime Minister can say, and one seriously wonders whether she herself believes what she is saying.
First of all, is it really true that the majority has spoken? You can put serious doubts next to that statement. The votes were close, already many voters for a BrExit have shown regret in their vote, and it has been found that many voters actually had no idea about what the consequences of a BrExit would be. And perhaps worst of all: a rather high percentage of BrExit voters said they did so solely because the BrExiteers promised that if they won, they would spend the 350 million pounds that the UK pays the EU weekly on the National Health Service — which the BrExiteers, after they won, admitted had been a blatant lie, and that people who voted for the BrExit for this reason had made a big mistake. If instead of voting between “yes” and “no” for a BrExit, two more options had been added, namely “if 350 million more will go to the NHS weekly after a BrExit, then yes, otherwise no,” and “if we will send all the immigrants home after a BrExit then yes, otherwise no,” then clearly the “no” camp would have had an overwhelming majority as the two extra choices would have been picked a lot and would amount to “no,” as the condition for the “yes” could never be reached.
But even if the majority actually thinks it is a good idea to leave the EU, does that mean that the government has to follow that advice? The answer is a definite “no.” The government of a democracy is appointed to protect the interests of the country, and not follow the mob rule that allows the oppression of any minority as long as there is a majority that wants to do that. It is the responsibility of the government to act in the best interests of the citizens it governs. From the perspective of the UK citizens, is it a good idea to leave the EU? Considering that the EU is for the most part a trade agreement that functions well and that benefits the UK enormously, it is highly likely that staying in the EU is in the best interests of any of the UK citizens.
So there is a way back: if the government believes that it hurts the people to take a particular decision, not only does the government have the power not to take that decision — according to its responsibilities it actually is obliged not to take that decision.
But maybe Theresa May believes that leaving the EU is a good idea? The answer is “no.” Theresa May was actually a strong proponent of staying in the EU. That means that by invoking article 50 she not only does something that is bad for the UK — she actually does something that she personally believes is bad for the UK. It means that she is relaying her responsibilities to the mob rule.
An elected Prime Minister is appointed because the majority of the country believes that he or she will guard the interests of the country to the best of his or her abilities. The PM is not supposed to blindly follow everything that the majority says — if that would be done, the majority would pay no taxes, the majority would retire at 45, the majority would get free health care, and the country would be bankrupt within a year. The point of a democracy is not to let the majority decide on everything, but to let the majority decide who would protect the interests of the country the best.
Theresa May may argue that she is not the elected Prime Minister, that she is appointed because David Cameron retired from office and that she is holding the post only until the next elections. If that is the case, then she should definitely not invoke article 50, as she should know that deferring responsibility to the result of the BrExit votes is not what the office she holds is supposed to do.
I am pretty sure that if the invocation of article 50 is postponed until after a new British government has been elected, it will never take place. Because the only parties who have a chance of being elected are those that will make it part of their program to ignore the BrExit votes. Because if there is anything that a majority wants, it is for the UK citizens to live in peace and prosperity, and staying in the EU provides the best means to accomplish that.
If Theresa May, as she claims, really wants to “make a better Britain,” she should not start by making it worse.