It has come to my notice that the country appears to be embroiled in some
sort of political controversy over something called Brexit and I thought I
should remind myself what it is all about.
It would appear that there was a referendum in June 2016 when the Prime Minister of the day sent me a leaflet to explain things which was nice of him and then add £9 million to my tax bill which was not so nice.
The possibly well meaning Mr. Cameron said many things but perhaps the most important was this
“This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide.”
The people of Bexley thought long and hard about the advantages and disadvantages of leaving the European Union and made up their minds.
In Erith & Thamesmead 45·7% of the voters wanted to Remain in the EU and 54·3% wanted out. In Bexleyheath & Crayford the decision to leave was even more decisive. 35% Remain and 65% for Leave and Old Bexley & Sidcup was much the same. 36·8% Remain. 63·2% Leave.
So we left exactly as the Prime Minister said we would, right? No; the only bit of Leaving in evidence was done by David Cameron himself.
With Cameron safely tucked away in his shed the Conservative Party needed a new leader and in desperation picked the most ineffective Home Secretary in living memory, one Teresa May.
Mrs. May must be a kindly soul as she promptly gave away her government’s majority and while spouting platitudes secretly plotted to give away our country too thereby wounding her party, very likely - hopefully? - fatally. What a woman!
What do our three MPs think about the will of the people being so blatantly thrown to one side?
Well Teresa Pearce for Labour in Erith & Thamesmead has wisely kept her head down while her party’s leadership does what the Labour Party usually does. Try to back every possible horse with only one motive in mind. Putting themselves above country in their ruthless quest for power.
How is that other remainer, David Evennett playing it? I don’t know him particularly well but when our paths have briefly crossed, I always found him a very pleasant and transparent sort of bloke. But is he a democrat?
It would appear that he is and last week he made his position clear. He doesn’t much care for what the traitorous Mrs. May is prepared to inflict on this country.
What about his colleague in Old Bexley? Far from democratic I am afraid.
My old friend Elwyn Bryant who lives in James Brokenshire’s constituency has been trying to get a straight answer out of him for many weeks.
He first wrote to James Brokenshire on 7th July 2018 but received no reply.
He wrote again on 25th July and asked for “a clear statement” from Mr. Brokenshire. There was an immediate response. His MP said that the EU was offering two options at the time, neither of which were acceptable.
I want a fair, orderly departure from the EU to give effect to this intent. Currently, the EU’s negotiating position offers two options both of which are unacceptable. The first is a standard free trade agreement conditioned on Northern Ireland staying within the single market and the Customs Union splitting our United Kingdom. The second is (effectively) membership of the European Economic Area with continued free movement, continued payment of vast sums each year for market access, continued obligations to follow the great bulk of EU law and no ability to strike our own trade deals.
Elwyn was not especially happy with that but James Brokenshire as a Cabinet Member was always going to parrot the Prime Minister’s requirements which he helpfully spelled out in greater detail.
• The end of free movement and taking back control of our borders;
• The end of sending vast sums of money each year to the EU;
• A new customs agreement with the freedom to strike trade deals around the world;
• A new UK-EU free trade agreement with common rules for industrial goods and agricultural products to secure the free flow of goods and livestock;
• A Parliamentary lock on all new rules and regulations and the ability to diverge.
• Departure from the Common Agricultural Policy and Commons Fisheries Policy;
• The restoration of the supremacy of the British Courts and ending the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU in the UK;
• Continued close cooperation on security and counter-terrorism to keep our people safe.
Elwyn bit his tongue for more than two months but then reminded his MP that he was one of the 63·2% who voted out and asked him to respect the result of the referendum as Prime Minister Cameron had promised.
After another six weeks with no reply Elwyn posed the same question again and suggested he should resign his position now that Mrs. May’s final deal was known as his more honourable colleagues had done.
The continued silence can only suggest that Mr. Brokenshire is not a man of honour and would rather protect his red box, his limousine and his salary than respect the wishes of his constituents or try to stop the country becoming a colony of the EU.
Thanks goodness for the David Evennetts of this political world.