Letter to the Nottingham Post: MPs should judge article 50

imag0452Edmund Burke, the 18th century Whig MP often referred to as the father of modern English conservatism, is not infrequently quoted by MPs. This quote seems especially relevant these days – “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

According to the BBC, 479 MPs were in favour of remain in June (including some 185 tories), compared to 158 favouring leave. The recent House of Commons motion calling for the Governments Brexit plan to be published before triggering article 50 was comfortably passed. Once we know more about the post-Brexit plan, and it’s implications for the economy, it may become increasingly obvious what a bonkers idea hard Brexit is. I hope that when it comes to the crunch MPs will re-read their Burke and cast their vote according to their judgement.

Tad Jones
Valley Road
Sherwood
Nottingham

Letter to the Nottingham Post: Sometimes the voters change their minds

imag0413The Liberal Democrat victory in Richmond Park by-election illustrates an important part of our democracy. The electorate votes according to what they think or feel at the time and, if that changes, at the next election they vote differently. In 2015 Zac Goldsmith had a majority of 23,015. On Thursday the voters of Richmond Park preferred a pro-European liberal who wasn’t even a party member 18 months ago over the prominent Brexit campaigner and sitting MP. People vote for lots of different reasons, but I suspect that worries about Brexit played a large part in this one. Polls suggest that if the EU referendum was rerun today the result would be different, and that a majority of us don’t want a hard Brexit with 90% of respondents to one survey wanting to stay in the single market. It has been said that the referendum on the 23rd of June was a vote for departure and not for the destination. The close referendum result, and the way the leave campaigns preposterous claims have unravelled since then, are further reasons for caution.

UKIP and right wing Tories want us to jump off the biggest Brexit cliff as soon as possible, without looking at the options, and without us having the chance to change our minds. It would be much more sensible, and more in tune with our democratic values, if we took our time to negotiate our future relationship with the single market, and then had a second referendum on the outcome of those negotiations. A democracy where you vote once and then live with that choice forever is not a democracy.

Tad Jones
Valley Road
Sherwood
Nottingham

Letter to the Nottingham Post: Cheer for Court Decision on EU

imag0361The High Court decision that Parliament must be consulted before triggering article 50 should be cheered by those who voted to leave. How can people who wanted sovereignty to rest solely in Westminster think it is right to push through the biggest decision in modern history via the Royal Prerogative? The electorate voted narrowly to leave, but the terms of how we leave and the implications of this were not clear on the 23rd of June and they are still not clear now. This needs to be fully debated in Parliament, and when we have the answers we should have a referendum on the terms of leaving.

Tad Jones

Valley Road

Nottingham