Editor – Many of you will be aware that ‘Change Britain’ is currently running a campaign to encourage people to email their MP reminding him/her of their solemn duty to honour the wishes of the majority who voted to leave the EU over the next few weeks/months while voting in the HoC. Helen Hims has prepared a thoughtful, fact-filled template for you to use.
Dear (insert MP’s name),
Over the coming weeks and months, you are going to take part in a number of votes that could affect the way in which the UK leaves the EU.
Please remember that 17.4 million people voted to Leave the EU and the winning margin over Remain was 3.8%. It was the biggest mandate in British political history and there should be no doubt about the validity of the vote. Significant constitutional changes have been accepted on the back of far weaker mandates:
• In 2001 Tony Blair took us into the Lisbon Treaty with no referendum and after winning a general election with just 9.5 million votes and with a lead of 2.8% over the Conservatives.
• The Welsh devolution referendum in 1997 set up a Welsh Assembly with devolved powers on a turnout of 50.2% and a winning margin of just 0.6%.
The long debate before the EU referendum also meant that we knew what we were voting for. The referendum was fought over whether we should take back control of our laws, borders, money, and trade. We were told it was our decision and that the outcome would be decisive.
If in any doubt, during the campaign:
1) Vote Leave’s Michael Gove told us: “We should be outside the Single Market” 9 May 2016
2) David Miliband told us: “The admission by the Leave campaign that quitting the EU means quitting the single market has let the cat out of the bag.” 9 May 2016.
3) Nick Clegg told us: “To be fair the Brexit campaign have, I think, come clean and said we don’t like, we dislike it so much we actually want to tear up Margaret Thatcher’s Single European Act, we don’t want anything to do with the Single Market either. I think it’s at least consistent.” 25 May 2016.
4) David Cameron told us: “I think one of the most important moments in this campaign was when the ‘Out’ campaign said they wanted to leave the single market…. The British public would be voting, if we Leave, would be to leave the EU and leave the single market”. 12 June 2016
5) Rachel Reeves told us: “The Brexiteers like Gove and Johnson say they want to leave the Single Market and that means that we go on to WTO tariffs” 14 June 2016.
6) The UK Government’s leaflet, sent to every home during the referendum said: “It’s your opportunity to decide if the UK remains in the European Union… The EU referendum is a once in a generation decision”
When you vote, please let your colleagues in Parliament know that the EU referendum was clear; the decision has been made.
There are two ways in which some politicians are trying to overturn our vote:
• First, it’s clear that controlling our laws, borders, money, and trade means leaving the single market and leaving the customs union. MPs should, therefore, vote against amendments that would keep us in a customs union with the EU, that would give control of our trade policy to Brussels, or in the single market, which would mean billions being paid every year to the EU budget and handing back control of our borders and laws to the EU.
• Second, it is already two years since this country took the decision to leave and we need to get on with it. The European Parliament holds elections next May which we cannot be part of and after the elections, a new Commission will be appointed. We have to have completed our negotiations by then or Brexit will be delayed and potentially overturned. Some MPs are clearly hoping to take advantage of this delay to ignore and overturn the decision Parliament gave to us and to take us back into the EU. It is therefore critical that MPs vote to ensure Brexit happens in March 2019 and therefore vote against any amendment that removes or changes March 2019 as the date for Brexit in the EU Withdrawal Bill.
There has been no time since ordinary men and women first won the right to vote that a minority of our leaders have tried so hard to water down, delay and overturn our choice at the ballot box.
There are huge opportunities for the UK outside Europe and we can work closely with the EU for the benefit of both sides. But we must respect the result of the referendum and leave the EU first.
I know many people on the Remain side feel strongly too. But the referendum outcome was clear and MPs must respect the result.
Thank you for listening.
UKIP SW Regional Communications Officer