Brexit – letter to my MP

Writing to your MP can feel like sending a missive into the void, especially if you didn’t vote for them and generally don’t agree with them. For example, my MP is Brexit campaigner Liam Fox, and I am not a Conservative voter or pro-brexit.

So for my own sanity it feels like publishing the letter would make it somewhat more meaningful, even if it only doubles the readership beyond the MP’s lovely assistant (who always responds kindly).


For the attention of Dr Liam Fox,

I have written previously, this is an updated suggestion/request from a constituent.

The current Government does not appear to be making progress with Brexit, and I doubt an election will help as we could have a hung parliament.

The core problem is that any proposed form of Brexit is disagreed with by some group, either it isn’t hard enough (for ERG/Farage), or it is too much of a crash-out disaster for others.

We need a way to define Brexit, get the people to vote on it, and put it behind us. It’s the only way that might actually make progress.

So my suggestion is:

  • Propose a binding referendum.
  • Ask the pro-brexit MPs to decide on one proposition (May’s agreement, no-deal, whatever). It has to be something that can be implemented in law/treaty immediately, not a vague option.
  • The other option is simply to revoke article 50.

That way there is no ‘3rd time lucky’ comment, the result is immediately implemented by whoever the Government is at that time.

If the chosen brexit option is the current withdrawal agreement, I would suggest adding a secondary (advisory) question:

If the Withdrawal agreement is enacted, would you rather have a close relationship with the EU (inside the Single Market & Customs Union) or a more distant relationship that included the proposed Irish backstop.

I have listened to the recent debates, including your comments, and I’m afraid what is being delivered at the moment is so far from what was discussed in 2016, I simply cannot accept that it is mandated by the referendum result.

Democracy is a method of making decisions about how we govern ourselves. The question was fatally flawed, the campaigns were flawed, things have changed. Let’s ask a good question properly and get on with it.

Kind regards,

-Alastair Campbell
(no, not that one)

Reply

A reply! Woo-hoo! It is the first on this topic (1/3 isn’t too bad).

Dear Mr. Campbell,

Thank you very much for your email of 9 September. I am afraid I believe that the decision to leave the EU has been taken in the 2016 Referendum and that it is now for Parliament to determine the method by which we leave. It is wrong for commentators to suggest that Parliament has been unable to reach a view on this as Parliament passed the Brady Amendment to the proposed Withdrawal Agreement and this could form the basis of an agreed departure.

It seems that most people have forgotten that this is merely the separation process from the EU and we have yet to begin to discuss the crucial future partnership, including trade. I wish that more people paid the attention that you do on these matters. As you know, I have always maintained that leaving the EU with a Deal is the best way forward and I will continue to make this argument in Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

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I appreciate the reply (maybe prorogation to thank?), unfortunately it is a flawed argument.

The Brady Amendment does not mean Parliament has agreed a method to leave, for the simple reason that it was a dead end with the EU. In a negotiation you can’t just agree your own position if the other party doesn’t accept that position.

I could negotiate for a house and demand they sell for £1. That’s my settled position, but it doesn’t make it workable.

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