An Open Letter to the Prime Minister
Dear Prime Minister
Your letter to the British people outlines the Withdrawal Agreement from the EU, which I and most British people regard as unsatisfactory. It has taken two years to cover three issues - finance, citizens rights and the Irish border. There is no chance that the much longer list in the Political Declaration will be agreed by December 2020, or even by 2022..
Both the Agreement and the Declaration make clear that the UK will be bound by EU standards and rules in future, but will lose any influence over them. The Declaration's content hides the true extent of rule-taking. The loss of citizens' rights and freedoms is only too clear.
If Parliament votes for it there will be real resentment. Britain will be poorer. It will lose control over regulations, and international influence. We will face a battle between those willing to align regulations, and those prioritising 'sovereignty' over jobs and living standards. This will drag on for years
The agreement kicks these choices down the road. Years of political infighting, creating an unstable relationship with our closest neighbours, will be very uncomfortable. It will make progress painfully difficult.
Parliament should not impose this future on people who thought they were voting for a 'clean break', any more than it should impose it on those who voted to keep the benefits of membership.
Asking the people for informed consent - on choices which are more certain than, but very different from, those offered in 2016 - is essential. It is the best way to avoid the lasting verdict of the British people that politicians and Parliament let them down.
Sevenoaks & Swanley Liberal Democrats