Verdict sat down with Gina Miller to discuss how she wants to help British prime minister Theresa May in the Brexit negotiations, and how she is already talking to many politicians behind closed doors.
Gina Miller — the woman who has become the figurehead for the fight against Brexit — may have faced death threats, but that isn’t putting her off wanting to get involved in negotiations with the European Union.
“I’d like to get involved with the Brexit negotiations” — Gina Miller
Miller hopes to speak with Theresa May to “help in any way that I can”, suggesting she could heal the Brexit division that is ripping the country in apart.
With Brexit negotiations still at the early stage, Miller believes she would bring a lot to the table.
She wants to “reclaim experts” and create a cross-party negotiation team consisting of lawyers, business people and academics, as well as politicians.
Miller tells Verdict:
We have got to do this together… I’d love to build up a strong group and then we can go to try and get the best deal for Britain.
Miller also feels that she can help simplify things to give people a better understanding of all the complexities and processes involved in Brexit.
“People are baffled by the language and terminology used [around Brexit], and I would like to be able to translate this for the ordinary people on the streets. I would like to get involved with the negotiations,” she explains.
Miller sees her political party independence as a strength that could help May and her team.
I am totally independent and I really don’t care what anything thinks of me. I am not afraid to speak uncomfortable truths.
However, even though Miller is keen to work with May and offer guidance, she feels her “point-blank” attitude is seen as too divisive.
I already speak to a lot of politicians, across all parties, behind closed doors, and they are not willing to talk to me in public. I am seen by parliament as someone who is either too divisive, or they don’t want to answer publicly the questions I put to them.
Despite this, she continues to meet with high-profile politicians, in the hope of finding out what the Brexit plan is.
Miller says that she has been told Brexit will cause “a short-term downturn of 20 to 30 years” and she thinks this will write off the prospects of a generation.
With the Brexit negotiations locked over the so-called divorce bill and the clock ticking towards March 2019, Miller’s position is understandable.
The latest suggestion that the UK could pay a divorce bill of around £36bn ($47bn) towards EU projects that it has already agreed to support, have been rebuffed by euro-sceptic MPs, sending negotiators back to the drawing board.
The fight to remain has become one of reform
Miller believes there needs to be reform both in the UK and in the EU.
“Of course I would love us to remain, but the one thing we absolutely cannot get away from is that a big part of why the leave vote won is because people are very unhappy. There really does need to be reform,” said Miller.
The shock of Brexit, both in the UK and the EU, means the seeds of change are already being sown.
Germany and France are leading much of this within the European Union, but Miller laments we won’t see benefit from it from the outside looking in.
“We could have really shot ourselves in the foot. The reform could benefit the remaining countries, even though we were the ones who shocked them into it.”
The UK has become the change-maker for the EU after all these years.
Doing things the May way
Miller, like many across the UK, wants to know the Brexit plan over the next two years and what our relationship with the EU will eventually look like.
Worryingly, Miller says politicians, lawyers, and diplomats, tell her that far from there being a clear plan, there simply isn’t one.
It really is the most extraordinary thing. If I operated my business how our cabinet are operating Brexit, then I would rightly be sacked. To have no idea where you’re going, it’s ludicrous.
According to Miller our politicians are part of the problem and the public is rightly distrustful of them.
They “lie, they cheat, and they back-stab, all in the name of power” and they aren’t putting our country first, Miller explains, suggesting they put party politics and their own agendas ahead of the interests of the people.
If you had written the state of our parliament into House of Cards the producers would say it was all to fantastical and ridiculous that they couldn’t possibly do that on the show!
These battles across party-political lines are, in Miller’s words, “a huge waste of energy”, and a distraction from conversations we need to be having with the EU.
And Miller isn’t shy about criticising the cabinet, as she wants the best deal from Brexit that we can get.
This idea of traipsing round the globe, with Hammond in Argentina, what the heck was he doing over there? Why on earth is Hammond over there showboating?
Last week’s visit, part of a four-day trip to South America, was designed to revive trade links that never recovered after the 1982 Falklands War and Hammond was the first British cabinet minister to visit Argentina since 2001.
Miller — who has always denied she wants the UK to ignore the result of last year’s referendum — thinks Brexit could be handled a lot better than it is now.
I’m a democrat, I believe that the vote is where it is. We have to push forward. But you can’t do it blindly with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears like our politicians are doing now. You have to do it in a very pragmatic and realistic way.
Miller sees herself as the pragmatic mind, with a “love for Britain” to do this.