Like many in Education, I was dismayed by the referendum result. The EU may be flawed – what organisation isn’t – but on the whole it was a huge force for good, lending opportunity to young people to live, work and study overseas, protecting workers’ rights and defending equality.
More pragmatically, I am furious at the power vacuum and absence of any plan to take us forward after the vote was won. I believe the best option now would be an early General Election, before which all parties could set out their plan for Brexit (or indeed to reject Brexit as the Lib Dems have suggested). This would restore some measure of accountability to the result, sadly lacking in the ridiculous referendum we have just suffered. To that end, I wrote this letter today, to my MP Mike Kane. I hope this might be useful to others who are as despondent as me at the mess we’re in.
I am writing to ask you to vote against any motion to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, should it come to a vote in Parliament, and to continue to campaign for the UK to remain in the EU. It is my wish that Labour call for an early General Election wherein each party stands on a Manifesto pledge to either Remain or Leave the EU. This way, we will have a refreshed mandate which, crucially, comes with the accountability that was lacking in the Referendum, thus ensuring that each side is "on the hook" for their promises with respect to the UK's future inside or outside the EU. "Brexit" is a disaster for the UK, economically, socially and politically. The referendum result has caused an unprecedented constitutional crisis which may see the break-up of the UK, the collapse of the Irish peace process and the deepest recession of modern times. The Leave campaign and subsequent success at the ballot box has stirred up racism and xenophobia and caused terrible rifts in the fabric of society that may take decades to heal. The UK's reputation as a globally respected example of political stability, economic prudence and social harmony has been rocked to its core. It is clear, now, that we have arrived at this point due to an outrageously dishonest campaign from the official and unofficial Leave campaigns. According to Michael Dougan, professor of European law at the University of Liverpool, the Leave campaign was "criminally irresponsible" and involved "industrial scale dishonesty". Promises such as £350m for the NHS and curbs on immigration are rapidly being walked back. It's clear that Leave said whatever it took to win the vote, with no plan for the country on success. As Professor Dougan advises, MPs have a "constitutional responsibility to protect the national interest". I urge you to vote down any attempt to invoke Article 50 at this time. I also urge you campaign for an early General Election and ensure that the electorate get the opportunity to properly decide between competing plans for implementing the will of the people, be that inside or outside the EU. Yours sincerely, Alan J. Harrison, BSc, MBCS, CISSP, PGCE Sale resident and teacher in Trafford.