Dear Alex Chalk
We write as a group of concerned constituents.
Brexit poses the most serious challenge that Britain has faced since 1945. Decisions taken in the next few months will shape our country for years to come. There are many issues at stake but the questions we ask below are of such importance to voters in Cheltenham that we invite you to make an open reply.
1. You have told the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, that you want a “pragmatic, jobs-first Brexit, which puts the UK economy first”. So why support the Government in leaving the Single Market, which gives us tariff-free access to the world’s largest free market area and buys 45% of our exports? And why support them in leaving the Customs Union that gives us the frictionless borders the Government says it wants with the EU? Isn’t the pragmatic thing to do to stay in the SM and the CU rather than offering the fantasy that we can have our cake and eat it?
2. The Repeal Bill, now before Parliament, is a threat to Parliamentary sovereignty as it greatly extends the power of Ministers at the expense of Parliament. How can that be reconciled with “take back control”? Also the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly may withhold consent. Along with the unresolved question of the Irish border, does not that dangerously threaten the already frayed threads that bind the UK together?
3. Businesses, industry, farmers, universities, the NHS and millions of people are now waking up to the reality of Brexit: people are becoming poorer, investment is falling, Britain is being left behind by the other European economies – and our salvation seems to lie in Donald Trump’s promises. How much damage to the economy, to Britain’s standing in the world and to our reputation as a sensible – indeed pragmatic – nation do we have to suffer before people of goodwill say ‘that’s enough: it’s time to think again about Brexit?’
Alex, as an MP you have a “duty of care” towards this country. Only 37% of the electorate supported Brexit, itself sold on a false prospectus. As our future looks ever darker and more uncertain, what will it take for you to have the courage to say what you must believe – that Brexit is a disaster that has to be avoided?
Philip Cole (Chairman of Cheltenham for Europe), and committee members Pamela Armstrong, Mike Farmer, Rod Gay, Serena Gay, Martin Kimber, Jane Malone, Adrian Phillips and Jonathan Sindall
Dear Alex Chalk