1 February 2017
Dear Ben Howlett,
I have tweeted you about Article 50 but I thought I would send you a follow up email.
Whilst our politics are different, I have to admit I have found you somewhat more personable than other MPs. When meeting you at 2015 hustings I thought you to be a fresh new face who might bring a more innovative approach to parliamentary politics.
I was wrong. What a u-turn.
I am totally shocked to hear that you intend to vote to invoke Article 50. This is in total contrast to your previous stance:
“I will be voting, and campaigning, for the UK to remain in the European Union.” (https://www.benhowlett.co.uk/eu)
The 2016 EU referendum was a vote for either ‘yes (whatever the deal)’ or ‘no (no change)’. The terms of the vote to invoke Article 50 are also clear and limited to: either ‘yes (whatever the deal)’ or ‘no (no change)’.
Do not assume that supporting Article 50 means that you will have any say over the details of the end ‘deal’. You will not. The vote on Article 50 is a simple yes or no. The vote on Article 50 is not a vote on the terms of Brexit. The ‘deal’ will be decided over many, many years. Talk to the experts as I have done. Talk to economists, lawyers, diplomats. Seek out the facts and make an informed decision.
There are no assurances to EU nationals living in this country nor to UK nationals living in the EU. We are at risk of ending our membership of the Single Market and Customs Union which could be devastating for the future of our economy.
Since the referendum in 2016 the world has changed and moved on. Your decision needs to be based on the world as it is now and you will know that the need for us to be united, in the face of new waves of political divisiveness, is ever more important in 2017.
Please vote against Article 50. Represent yourself: stand up and be counted. Represent Bath: 70% voted ‘Remain’, as you know. Represent a more positive future for the UK.
This is not a done deal: our voices will only get stronger and louder.
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