Arise Sir Keir Starmer
Here are two letters you should use, better still, adapt to lobby Kier Starmer to provide more effective opposition to Brexit. One is pithy and direct, the other more nuanced and quasi legal. Do remember, he is a busy man so keep it brief …
Dear Mr Starmer,
I write as a member of the Conservative Party to ask you to oppose this Government’s kamikaze approach to Brexit, in the wake of Corona. Granted, Corona is a crisis in the short term. But Brexit is a disaster in slow motion over the long-term. Adding the two together creates a catastrophe for future voting generations. We must endure death by Corona, as it is a natural phenomenon. However, we don’t need to suffer death by Brexit. Brexit is a man made event, intended to be a team building exercise for David Cameron’s Conservative party. It has now been blown out of all proportion by a few disaster capitalists. I no longer recognise the Conservative party. The party left me.
Show leadership now before it’s too late. Corona has changed attitudes towards Brexit. Please help us pull back from the brink and a lot of people in the centre will help you “take back control” of the extreme right.
Dear Sir Keir,
We are writing to you as representatives of a number of cross-party groups that are extremely concerned about the government’s refusal to seek an extension to the Brexit transition period.
At a time when we face unprecedented economic and social challenges as a result of the coronavirus, including the certainty of a deep economic recession and massive job losses, it is unconscionable that the government proposes to exacerbate this terrible situation by jeopardising our trading relationship with the world’s largest free trade area.
It’s clear that neither the UK government nor the European Union is currently able to devote adequate time or attention to the complex negotiations needed to secure a workable trade agreement. It thus looks very likely that the government’s artificially imposed deadline will lead to the hardest of Brexits on 31 December, with no agreement – or an inadequate one – in place.
For many businesses that are already in extreme difficulty, from farms to manufacturers, this would mean bankruptcy and closure. For the UK as a whole, it would mean an even deeper recession, when the Bank of England is already predicting a 14% drop in GDP – worse than has been seen in 300 years.
Failure to secure an adequate agreement would also have very serious repercussions for the very large numbers of EU citizens living in the UK and for UK citizens resident in EU countries. At present, these people continue to have full rights as underwritten by the Court of Justice of the European Union. But as the Public Law Project pointed out in February, it is by no means clear what the situation for them would be in the event of an end to the transition period on 31 December – particularly if no comprehensive agreement has been reached with the EU. This situation is causing great stress and anxiety, not least among the many EU citizens in the UK who are currently proving so vital as key workers in the NHS, in care homes and in many other roles.
We were pleased to see that you raised the need to extend the transition period in your first interview as Labour leader, but are concerned that you appear to have changed your position since then, saying on 11 May that “we’re a long way from December so we’ll see how we get on”. As you will know, the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement stipulate that the UK–EU Joint Committee must sign off any extension before 1 July. Missing this window would make it very difficult for any extension to be agreed. We are now in mid-May, so this could hardly be more urgent. We hope that you will lose no time in working with other parties in Parliament to put all possible pressure on the government to request an extension. The jobs and wellbeing of so many people depend on this, and – at this of all times – the UK cannot afford to see more self-inflicted and unnecessary harm inflicted on its citizens and those of our EU neighbours.