We are writing to respond to a letter by the Green Party’s candidate for Chesterfield at the General Election, now a member of the Liberal Democrats, in which he criticised a letter from our group published previously. Read the letter here.
Firstly, we would like to thank him for his comments on the quality of our campaign, but we would also like to address the issues he raised.
He states that “leave campaigners suggested Toby Perkins should roll over and take a vow of silence”. The main point we made was that Toby Perkins has been opposing plans to leave the EU ever since the referendum (with a clear example cited). Given that his own constituency voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU, as an elected representative he should instead embrace this fact, act accordingly and stop trying to obstruct plans to leave the EU.
The letter also states that: “the type of Brexit has yet to be determined”.
This is a misrepresentation of the situation. The precepts of voting to leave the EU were made clear during the referendum. It meant restoring national sovereignty, taking back control of law-making powers, borders and money.
It was also made clear that voting leave meant coming out of the Single Market. However, what was never discussed during the referendum was the concept of a ‘soft Brexit’ that many remainers are now advocating.
The whole purpose of holding a referendum is to provide an answer to the question asked and then implement the result. Not to then find a compromise to meet both side of the debate in the middle (which ends up pleasing no-one). How does obstructing plans to leave the Single Market represent the 60% that voted leave?
If Mr Perkins is going to scrutinise the Government, then it should be on the basis of making sure we fully leave the EU (he could seek assurances we are going to leave the European Arrest Warrant and EU Common Fisheries Policy). Anyone who believes recent interventions by Remain MPs are about ensuring we have a ‘proper Brexit’ is away with the fairies in our view. They are simply trying to attach a ball and chain to the Government to hinder attempts to take us out of the EU.
We say that if Mr Perkins has nothing constructive to contribute, it is better he says nothing at all.
Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire ‘Leave’ campaigners