Time for MPS to use courage of their con­vic­tions

Glo­ri­ous Glouces­ter­shire Linda Cook took this pic­ture of birds on a frozen Pittville Lake

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

✒ MICHAEL James (Let­ters, Jan­uary 24) com­plains EU mem­ber states have been los­ing their sovereignt­y over the past decades.

He sees this as an ex­pla­na­tion for the vic­tory of the Leave cam­paign in 2016, al­though most an­a­lysts be­lieve that had more to do with an anti-gov­ern­ment protest.

Of course, it all de­pends on what you mean by sovereignt­y.

Theresa May, in her let­ter to Don­ald Tusk trig­ger­ing Ar­ti­cle 50 in March 2017, said the ref­er­en­dum was ‘a vote, as we see it, to re­store our na­tional self­de­ter­mi­na­tion.’

No men­tion of the need to re­store our sovereignt­y.

That is be­cause the gov­ern­ment White Pa­per pub­lished at the same time stated ‘Par­lia­ment has re­mained sov­er­eign through­out our mem­ber­ship of the EU.’

So even the Gov­ern­ment ac­knowl­edges we have not lost our sovereignt­y.

In­ter­est­ing to see that Mr James pro­motes the idea of a ref­er­en­dum on tax­a­tion pol­icy.

So why not a ref­er­en­dum on Mrs May’s with­drawal agree­ment?

The Good Fri­day Agree­ment was only fi­nalised af­ter it was ap­proved by a ref­er­en­dum in North­ern Ire­land and the Repub­lic of Ire­land.

Peo­ple can change their minds. No­body has so far sug­gested that be­cause there was a gen­eral elec­tion in 2017 there is no need ever to hold an­other one.

And to those who, for what­ever rea­son, dis­like the idea of an­other ref­er­en­dum, or who are du­bi­ous about very use of ref­er­en­dums for fun­da­men­tal is­sues of state, I would point out that it was not the 2016 ref­er­en­dum that made the de­ci­sion to leave the EU, but it was Par­lia­ment, when it passed the Eu­ro­pean Union (No­ti­fi­ca­tion of With­drawal) Act on March 16, 2017.

So if Par­lia­ment is sov­er­eign, then what Par­lia­ment has done, Par­lia­ment can undo.

Theresa May wants Par­lia­ment to change its mind and vote for her deal. But I would go fur­ther.

If Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans had the courage of their con­vic­tions, they would re­ject EU with­drawal al­to­gether, since ev­ery ver­sion of with­drawal will re­sult in this coun­try be­ing worse off.

Our MP has said on many oc­ca­sions that he thinks that re­main­ing in the EU is best for Bri­tain.

Over to you, Mr Chalk. Mike Farmer Chel­tenham

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