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Categories : Economy
Dear Ms Hayes
I wrote to you asking for your support in triggering Article 50 and carrying out the democratic will of the people (as promised in the leaflet that the government sent out prior to the election, see below). Your reply , which I have published on my blog, indicated that you do not accept the result and would be calling for the referendum result to be overturned.
I am not sure how the government’s promise to implement the result could be misinterpreted, but I have reproduced it here in case you had a problem reading it at the time. I may have missed your argument prior to the referendum that the result would not be binding, so please forward it to me if it exists.
Comments : 2 Comments »
Categories : Economy
I wrote to my MP asking for her support for triggering Article 50 immediately. This was her response. We should make it clear to her and others that we are not prepared to allow this attempt to overthrow democracy to go unchallenged.
Thank you for contacting me in relation to the EU referendum.
I have always been passionately pro-European, and I campaigned very hard for the Remain campaign both in my constituency and elsewhere in the months leading up to the referendum. Whilst I don’t believe that the EU is perfect, I am absolutely certain that we are better off remaining within it and working from within to make it fit for purpose for the 21st century. I am proud that this support is shared by so many local residents in Dulwich and West Norwood and that Lambeth and Southwark voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU on 23rd June. I share the devastation that many residents feel about the referendum result.
I have received many hundreds of emails from local residents who have signed the petition for a second EU referendum, or who are requesting that Parliament votes to reject the referendum result.
The referendum result was extremely narrow and within a day of the result being announced it became clear that the key promises made by the Leave campaign were, quite frankly, completely dishonest. This is a pattern of behaviour we have come to expect from Boris Johnson in his former role as Mayor of London where he presided over the decimation of London’s police service, and repeatedly failed to tackle London’s housing crisis.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has admitted that it was ‘a mistake’ to promise £350million extra funding per week for the NHS as a consequence of Brexit, and former Tory leader Ian Duncan-Smith now claims that he never supported this pledge despite being photographed almost daily in front of the Leave campaign bus emblazoned with this slogan.
Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, key architect of the Leave campaign has said that he has no intention of limiting the numbers of EU migrants coming to the UK because the UK will have to accept the free movement of workers in order to remain within the European Single Market, in complete contrast to the claims made during the Referendum campaign that leaving the EU was the only way to reduce migration.
Large numbers of people voted Leave on the basis of these claims and it has become very clear that they have been deliberately misled.
I strongly believe that 16 and 17 year olds should be able to vote in UK elections and should have had their say on proposals that will impact on them more than any other generation.
The blatant dishonesty of the Leave campaign, combined with the closeness of the result and the exclusion of 16 and 17 year olds from the ballot, to my mind create a very strong case for a second referendum. This second vote should give electors aged 16 and above the final say in accepting or rejecting a detailed proposal on the terms under which the UK would leave the European Union, a decision the consequences of which would reverberate for decades. Electors should know in detail what the UK’s economic relationship with the EU would be, what the approach to immigration would be and what the impacts on our ability to travel to EU countries would be etc. I will do everything possible to ensure that Parliament explores this possibility to its fullest extent and would of course once again strongly campaign against these proposals to leave the European Union.
I will always vote on this matter in a way which represents the overwhelming view of my constituents that we should remain in the EU, but it is worth noting that there were many more constituencies that voted Leave, than voted Remain. I do not think that it is realistic to expect the majority of MPs to vote against the referendum result that their own constituencies delivered. This is one of the reasons that I believe a second referendum is our best chance of remaining in the EU.
The government has so far provided very little detail about the Brexit process and I will be pressing for full Parliamentary involvement in and scrutiny of this at every stage. The mechanism for triggering Article 50 is not yet clear, but it is critical that this should take place via a vote in the House of Commons. I will write to both shortlisted Tory leadership candidates next week to press them to ensure that this happens. I would not vote to trigger Article 50 unless a second referendum had been held, and would campaign and vote for a Remain result in such a referendum regardless of the details of the proposal
I have signed Early Day Motion 243 (http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/243) which calls for a second referendum, and I hope that this will reach the required threshold of support for it to be debated in Parliament.
Over the coming months I will continue to represent the overwhelming view of my constituents that the UK should remain in the EU.
Helen Hayes MP
Member of Parliament for Dulwich and West Norwood
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Categories : Economy
The post referendum campaign to remain in the EU is now fully under way. Those who never wanted us to Remain have now been joined by some of the people who voted Leave, but who are genuinely and understandably concerned about what we should do next. These latter people, who I would call ‘Soft Leavers’, are arguing for delaying the invocation of article 50 for as long as possible or as long as necessary. They are in many cases joining forces with those who did not want us to leave in the first place-the ‘Hard Remainers’ to find reasons why we should delay leaving the EU until some mainly unspecified date in the future.
The main reasons that the Soft Leavers are giving for waiting are along the following lines.
1. We need time to work out our bargaining position with the EU.
2. If we wait, the EU is well on the way to imploding after the French and German elections next year.
3. There is a split between the EU Commission and the national governments in Europe which we can exploit, even to the extent of bypassing the EU Commission and making deals with individual countries.
4. If we can get the EU to back down and make concessions on the free movement of labour it may not be necessary to leave the EU at all. This is where the Soft Leavers join with the Remainers.
The problem with all these arguments, whatever their individual tactical merits, is that they fail to take into account that the consequence of delaying the invocation of Article 50 immediately will be to strengthen the hand of those who wish to deny the democratic decision of the majority of the people. This would be a terrible blow to our democratic process and induce even more cynicism in those who have already demonstrated their alienation from the political establishment. It is far more important that we strengthen our democracy and the people’s belief in it than the specifics of a negotiating process. In 20 years time the EU negotiations will be history and the world economy will be in a different place, but if we abandon democracy now we run the risk of damaging the democratic process for good.
We need to take events into our own hands and not hope that other countries will come to our aid.Delaying the invocation of Article 50 sends a signal to the people with whom we are negotiating in Europe that we are not serious about leaving. Any serious negotiator on the EU side will see this as a sign of weakness and will draw the conclusion that if they are tough enough in the negotiation over trade then we will back down from leaving the EU. We need to take immediate steps to take the focus away from the EU negotiation in two ways
1. We need government action to stimulate the economy. The economy is weak and has needed attention for years. Remainers will try to pretend that the problems have been caused by Brexit and this will demoralise Leavers if there is a recession.The government should borrow money and invest in a major house-building and infrastructure investment programme. It should also find ways to stimulate technological and scientific investment. Existing plans to build a third runway and HS2 should be accelerated.
2. We should start making new trade deals with the rest of the world outside of the EU.
We should campaign for the invocation of Article 50 immediately under the banner of Democracy Now. The best bet for the UK is not to rely on the kindness of others, but to take matters into our own hands and make our democracy work.