Tuesday 13 August 2019 4:30 am

DEBATE: Is Caroline Lucas’ all-female ‘emergency cabinet’ a good idea for avoiding a no-deal Brexit?

Kimberly McIntosh is senior policy officer at Race on the Agenda.
Emma Revell
Emma Revell is head of communications at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Is Caroline Lucas’ all-female ‘emergency cabinet’ a good idea for avoiding a no-deal Brexit?

Kimberly McIntosh, senior policy officer at Race on the Agenda, says YES.

At a time when compromise is absent, good faith gone and solutions scarce, radical proposals to stop a no-deal Brexit are a welcome change of pace.

An all-women cabinet may sound extreme, but we are in extraordinary times. Research launched yesterday found that one in five Brits are stockpiling food, drinks and medicines in preparation. The government’s own analysis projects a recession and an increase in unemployment levels to above five per cent.

Crashing out of the EU also risks exacerbating inequalities that already exist in our society. People on low-incomes, disproportionately ethnic minorities, are more likely to be badly hit by any no-deal fallout.

Could a group of women more committed to compromise than populism and posturing stop a no-deal disaster? Potentially.

But to have any legitimacy as a coalition for national unity, Caroline Lucas will need to cast her net wider than white female MPs who voted Remain.

Emma Revell, communications specialist and political commentator, says NO.

We need an emergency all-male cabinet to push through Brexit because women are too accommodating and won’t be firm and bullish enough to stand up to European leaders and demand a good deal for Britain.

By Caroline Lucas’ logic, this is a perfectly reasonable position. To most others, it’s patronising and sexist nonsense. Choosing a cabinet based on gender (Lucas seems to think that being female will make her fantasy cabinet “less tribal” and more trusting) has as much chance of producing a coherent Brexit strategy as one made up of left-handers, or people under 5’5.

Lucas is someone who rightly speaks out when women are generalised or stereotyped – she is a leading campaigner against gender stereotypes in advertising children’s toys, for example – but her self-proclaimed progressiveness has taken a backseat when it comes to her desire to pervert the will of the people and stop Brexit.

She should stick to her campaign to overturn the referendum and keep the sexist stereotypes out of it.

Main image credit: Getty

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