To Tracy Brabin,
MP for Batley and Spen.
Dear Tracy Brabin,
Next month will be the most crucial in British politics since 1945 and I urge you to use your influence and vote in the long-term interests of our whole country rather than the perceived short-term advantage of your party, or even your majority in Batley and Spen.
All the economic and political events of the past two and a half years have made it increasingly clear that no deal can be anywhere near as good for the whole country as the very advantageous deal we already have if we choose to stay in the EU. Yet the Government is clearly “running down the clock” in order to corner you MPs into accepting Mrs May’s deal (however tweaked in the final month) or crashing out with the highly damaging no-deal.
I know that it is Labour Party policy to demand a general election and then negotiate a “better deal” which would involve staying in “a” as opposed to “the” single market and customs union. Frankly, that sounds rather like the Brexiteers’ false promise that we could have all the benefits of the EU without any of the obligations. And it depends on the EU being willing to re-open negotiations with a different government, and the supposition that Labour would win a majority in an election, which is by no means certain or, given recent events, even likely.
It seems to me that you MPs have four options:
- Cut to the quick and vote to withdraw Article 50. This would require courage and would be helped if the parties took off the Whips and allowed you a free vote.
- Vote to put whatever deal emerges to a “People’s Vote” with Remain as the alternative.
- Vote for Mrs May’s deal , which is really shaped to reflect the views of the Hard Right ERG, and would be a shameful thing for those on the left of politics (or even the centre) to support.
- Allow us to drift into leaving without any deal, which is probably the outcome the ERG have been manoeuvring for all along, and would be the worst possible outcome for the country and the people of Batley and Spen.
I know that you have promised to “respect” the result of the 2016 referendum and I can see that this position is tempting since it is supposed that our constituency voted Leave (though it is worth remembering that this was not a majority of those entitled to vote, but less than half of us, with nearly a third of us voting to Remain ,and a similar number who didn’t vote at all)
However, all the evidence of the past two and a half years shows that the Referendum itself, with its small majority for leaving the EU, was badly constructed, fuelled by lies and false promises, marred by illegalities and even possibly subjected to foreign influence. There is no shame in repudiating it: in my view it is irresponsible not to do so.
So please use your undoubted influence to vote, and to persuade others to vote, according to Option 1 above or, failing that Option 2.