My letter to my MP, re: Article 50 bill

Dear Diane

I write to urge you to oppose the Article 50 bill.

This bill is so basic and apologetic it may as well have been conceived on the back of a beer mat. It’s the latest in a series of witless actions from a Prime Minister whose only concern appears to be obsequiously appeasing Tory voters and the right-wing press. But I’m afraid she’s not the only politician putting personal power before the greater good.

In his new pro-Brexit stance, clearly Jeremy Corbyn is ignoring the fact that the vast majority of Labour politicians (and, I suspect, party members like myself) were pro-EU in the run up to the referendum and probably, whether privately or not, still very much harbour a wish that this crazy Brexit business would end. Corbyn – perhaps understandably – is petrified of losing votes in the industrial heartlands to UKIP. But I believe he has ceased to lead Labour as a party of opposition, which will cause him to haemorrhage far more votes than he would otherwise sustain.

The EU is not perfect and never has been. But what we’ve seen since June 23rd 2016 is utter madness, and has made Britain a global laughing stock, not to mention spurred dangerously right-wing political movements the world over. When thinking about Brexit, there are so many things to get angry about it makes my head spin, but I’ll pick one: the utter, indecent refusal of the government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens who have made Britain their home. Waiting for a reciprocal agreement from other EU countries is a nonsense. We’re the ones doing the leaving: we should lead the way, set the example for others to follow. In opposing the Article 50 bill, Labour could stop this insanity from progressing.

I have lived in Hackney since 2000 and have always voted Labour here. I hate to make a threat, but as you have always been, in my view, an honest and decent politician, I think it would be honest and decent for me to let you know: if Labour largely vote in favour of the Article 50 bill, I will certainly be voting for a different political party next time.

I appreciate the difficult position most Labour MPs are currently in, for all sorts of reasons. But sadly, I cannot stomach Jeremy Corbyn saying “we will not subvert the will of the British people” any longer. You and I both know that 37% of the electorate does not constitute “the British people”. We also know how many of these voters fell for exaggerations and outright, career-enhancing lies during the referendum campaign, and how many people would vote differently were they given the chance again.

Thank you for being a great MP; I trust you will continue to represent the needs and opinions of the Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency, as you always have done.

Yours sincerely

Tim Thornton

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