Jenny Wilkinson

for West Midlands Mayor. Your mayor. Your voice.

Jenny Wilkinson

for West Midlands Mayor. Your mayor. Your voice.

Open letter to Andrew Mitchell MP on the meaningful vote

5th December 2018

Dear Andrew Mitchell MP

Let’s be clear. Brexit is proving to be a complete mess.

Mr Mitchell, do you genuinely believe that Mrs May’s agreement is in our best interests? Do you really think that the Government’s proposed arrangement is better than our current EU deal?

In 2016, you supported Remain. With your wealth of international experience, you will be well aware of the value of working with our neighbours on a range of issues that transcend borders: taxation of the largest companies; climate change; defence; the refugee crisis. You are also, no doubt, very aware of the catastrophic consequences that a bad Brexit could have on business and commerce.

The deal currently proposed satisfies no-one: on the one hand, it risks us being tied into the Customs Union indefinitely, bound by EU regulations in which we have no say; on the other, we lose our rights to freely work, travel and love across 27 countries. I urge you to take the best interests of your constituents into account and vote against this deal.

Furthermore, I ask you to support our calls for the people to be given the final say on the Brexit deal. Here are 5 reasons why you should support this:

  1. The referendum was not free and fair. There were lies. Turkey is not joining the EU and, in any case, the UK would have a veto. Leave donor Arron Banks is being investigated by the National Crime Agency. He is innocent until proven guilty but, should illegal foreign money have played a part, then the legitimacy of the result must be questioned. Do we really want to go ahead and reward liars and possible cheats?
  2. Voters were not well informed about the reality of Brexit. The implications for the Irish border were never considered. Of course, leaving the EU was on the ballot paper, but no-one knew what leave would look like in reality. It wasn’t clear in 2016 and has only become clearer in the last couple of weeks, two and a half years after the original vote, when the Brexit deal was, in part, revealed. By giving the people a final vote, we are allowing them to make an informed decision on the facts – not the fantasy mis-sold by Brexiteers.
  3. The promises of 2016 have not been met. The backlash against the PM’s deal by Leavers and Remainers alike has only increased divisions. It satisfies neither side of the debate. If Theresa May’s Brexit is such a good deal for the UK, surely voters will endorse it again!
  4. The country is allowed to change its mind – democracy should be an ongoing process. What looked like such a good deal in 2016 is now in doubt. People are, quite rightly, having second thoughts. Our recent street poll in Sutton Coldfield, showed an overwhelming dissatisfaction with how Brexit is going, with two-thirds of people we spoke to supporting calls for a referendum on the deal.
  5. Brexit will be your legacy to Sutton Coldfield. Despite our differences, my genuine belief is that you went into politics to make a difference. I cannot understand why you are so determined to be an architect of a project which will make things worse for all of our residents? Please search your conscience and make the right decision.

A lot has changed since 2016 and it is now clear that there is no Commons majority for any version of Brexit. At this point, the safest route must be to give this decision back to the people, giving them the choice between the deal negotiated by the Government and remaining in the EU. An increasing number of Conservative MPs recognise that this is the only way to overcome a gridlocked Parliament.

Democracy relies on people being given opportunities to change their minds if they want to do so. Please use your position of public trust to act in the national interest and support plans for a People’s Vote.

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Wilkinson
Spokesperson for Sutton Coldfield Liberal Democrats