A Plea to all MPs that voted Remain

The triggering of Article 50 is not just a procedural step in the UK leaving the EU. Is is of critical importance. According to the wording of the Article, from that moment the UK surrenders all unilateral power to decide its future relationship with either the EU or the Single Market…

Dear MP

I write to you in your capacity as an MP who voted Remain in the Referendum.

May I please ask that, before voting on the triggering of Article 50, you bear in mind the following points:-

1.  The triggering of Article 50 is not just a procedural step in the UK leaving the EU.  Is is of critical importance.  According to the wording of the Article, from that moment the UK surrenders all unilateral power to decide its future relationship with either the EU or the Single Market.

2.  Whatever opportunity is given to either the electorate or Parliament to vote on any finally negotiated Brexit terms, the only possible outcomes will be the endorsement of those terms or their rejection, which will still leave the UK outside both the EU and the Single Market.

3.  The Referendum was expressly Advisory and Consultative (see House of Commons Briefing Paper 07212, section 5), designed to advise but not direct you on your decision.

4.  It has been an established principle, at least since the time of Edmund Burke, that MPs do a disservice to their constituents if they attempt to mirror popular opinion rather than to exercise their own judgment on national issues.  Debates on the death penalty are a clear practical example of proper exercise of judgment contrary to popular opinion.

5.  The recent Supreme Court decision, although based on narrower points of law, reaffirms that parliamentary sovereignty is essentially distinct from popular sovereignty, with the clearest implication that MPs have a positive duty to exercise individual judgment.

6.  With hindsight some Remain MPs may regret having supported the decision to hold a Referendum out of excessive party loyalty.  Please do not compound this error by voting to trigger Article 50 on the same grounds.

7.  MPs have been reflecting on the merits and demerits of the UK in the EU for decades, while the electorate has been subjected to merely a few months of intense and often misleading lobbying.

In all these circumstances, the wisest course would be a postponement of the triggering of Article 50 to allow for a cooling-off period of say two years, during which the electorate would gain a deeper understanding of the likely consequences of Parliament following their advice.  At the end of that period, in a calmer and better informed environment, Parliament should decide on the right course for the UK.  You will not be thanked by the electorate for having taken precipitate, irreversible action if, as is possible, public attitudes to the EU change as understanding deepens.

I urge you not only to exercise your own individual and independent judgment on this crucial issue, but to encourage all your parliamentary colleagues to do so as well.  This is your true duty to the electorate.

What’s The Plan?

What’s The Plan is a campaign that wants answers to 10 Questions before MPs vote on Article 50:

“After thousands of people signed our petition demanding a plan for Brexit, Theresa May finally agreed to producing a White Paper outlining the plan for her negotiations with the EU.

However, despite the ruling that MPs must be allowed to vote before the government triggers Article 50, they’re being asked to do so before a plan is presented. That’s not good enough. Our MPs need to know what they’re voting for otherwise we could be faced with a choice of Mrs May’s bad deal or leaving the EU with no deal at all.

Please write to your MP telling them that you don’t want them allowing the PM to trigger Article 50 before she tells them what they’re getting.

Our 10 Questions:

  1.  Will we stay in the single market?
  2. Will we continue to pay into the EU budget and follow its rules?
  3.  Will we stay in customs union?
  4.  How will EU migration be controlled?
  5.  When can the first new Free Trade Agreements be expected?
  6.  Will there be a transitional period after we quit the EU?
  7.  Will Scotland be given a reason to avoid leaving the UK?
  8.  Will there be controls at the Irish border?
  9.  How do we ensure we can fight cross-border problems such as terrorism, crime and global warming?
  10.  How do we guarantee the NHS, universities, farmers and industry get the talent they need?”

Please visit the What’s the Plan website and support the campaign.

Freedom of Movement Petition

Continue to allow reciprocal freedom of movement with EU member states

Freedom of movement has been a fact of life for Brits and Europeans for many years. It’s a vital source of economic & social mobility for individuals, and one which benefits UK businesses & cuts red tape. Future generations should not be deprived of this right.

More Details


Challenging the Referendum Threshold

We want the government to explain why there was no threshold in the Referendum

TU strike ballots and countries voting on constitutional matters set a 2/3 majority for change. It’s inconceivable this didn’t have one. Was it because it was advisory, a purely consultative exercise not binding on this or any other government or was it just a careless,omission?


To see the government’s full response, please follow the link below:

“It was agreed that the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union would not have a threshold, but would be a simple majority vote. Both Houses of Parliament passed the EU Referendum Act, which approved this decision, with large majorities and cross-party support.”   >>> More Details


Spare a thought for the losers

There is one simple difference between the referendum to leave the EU in 2016 and the vote to join in 1975 that is often overlooked, but is perhaps the most important moral issue of all.

41 years ago there were no tangible losses for the losing side in the sense that there are for millions of people right now.

41 years is a long time during which millions of people used the increasing freedom that EU membership gave them to establish new lives and businesses on either side of the Channel, as well as the North Sea and Irish Sea.  They formed new partnerships, started families, found new customers and friendships.

The losers include over 5 million people who have led their lives on the basis of being European, and now face the prospect of losing the right to live in their homes, to keep their jobs and to keep their children in schools, and to stay among friends they have known all their lives.

The losers aren’t just London’s bankers and lawyers, but countless small companies and self-employed people in small towns and villages throughout Kent and all over the UK, who provide a wide range of services to clients on the continent. Without the right to work freely in other EU countries, they are now threatened with anything from a 10-25% loss in turnover for some, to a total collapse of their business model for others, as their home market shrinks from half a billion to 65 million.

The losers also includes millions of Brits who never left the UK, but have benefited from a great variety of rights and standards that the political establishment in the UK was often unwilling to grant- especially in matters of environmental health, such as legislation that prohibits the use of potentially harmful additives in food.

Having so many losers puts the lawfulness of the entire referendum into question. Is it ever really democratic to have a vote about destroying people’s rights and lives?


Add Euro Indexation to the State Pension triple-lock

► Stop the growing disparity between private pensioners (getting richer) and state pensioners (getting poorer).
► Stop the growing disparity between state pensioners (who are seeing their income fall in real terms) and those in work (who could potentially find new ways to compete).
► Don’t use powerless pensioners as an economic buffer to Brexit turmoil.
► As we cut loose from the EU and head back towards a boom-and-bust economy, please consider the true cost of Brexit and introduce this one little stabilizing mechanism.

Please click this link to see the petition and sign it: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/176886


Trade under WTO Rules – What does it mean?

What are the implications of “trade under WTO rules” if the UK leaves the single market?

The parliamentary International Trade Committee has been interviewing subject specialists to provide insights into the legal and political dimensions of trading under WTO rules only.

This session on Parliament TV has particular emphasis on technical issues such as non-tariff barriers to trade agricultural trade, the legality of establishing a new farm subsidy system outside the CAP, and the practical difficulties of extracting the UK share from the EU in the WTO quota system.

PARLIAMENT TV: International Trade Committee – WTO Rules and UK Agriculture (excerpt)