.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, December 18, 2017

Defending the Tory Brexit rebels

I suspect that most regional and national newspapers are getting letters from Brexiteers anxious to excoriate the eleven Tory MPs who voted against the government whip to ensure that Parliament gets to vote on the final deal with the EU. The South Wales Evening Post certainly did and here is a letter I have sent in response:

In her recent letter (16 December), Caroline West is quite wrong to berate those MPs who voted to amend the Brexit bill so as to give Parliament a say on the final deal with Europe.

The 2016 referendum was advisory and gave the Government a mandate to negotiate a withdrawal from the European Union.

Voters did not though offer any view on what the terms of that withdrawal should be, nor on any concessions that may be offered by either side.

As is right in a representative democracy they left that decision to MPs, who will be armed with all the facts and will be able to make an informed choice.

The whole issue of mandate was of course muddied by the 2017 General Election.

Theresa May went to the country asking for a majority to force through her version of Brexit. The voters said no and insisted that she work with other parties. The amendment to the Brexit Bill, which Caroline West so abhors is entirely consistent with that verdict.

Recent events have demonstrated that the current Government is not competent enough to deliver on their promises over Brexit.

Negotiations with Europe have been a shambles, with some Ministers obsessing more about using private jets to travel to Brussels than on the intricacies of our country's legal obligations.

In addition, the Government has shown that it cannot deliver on promises made to the voters during the referendum campaign, including the £350m a week extra for the NHS.

Because of that it is the duty of every elected MP to scrutinise closely the deal that is finally negotiated and to ensure that it is in the country's best interests. In fact I would argue that voters themselves should have that final say. After all Brexit was about us taking back control.

Finally, Caroline West needs to reflect on where exactly this process is taking us. It is becoming clear that exiting the EU is going to leave the UK more isolated in the world than at any time since the reformation.

We will be at the mercy of people like Donald Trump, who knowing how desperate we are for a trade deal, will take advantage to force many other concessions from us.

Far from taking back control, Brexit has mortgaged our future to others and left us vulnerable to blackmail and coercion from countries we might once have called allies.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?