Dear Anne-Marie Trevelyan,
I’ve just read of your resignation. It adds to my profound disillusion with the political class in general and all MPs in particular, both Remainers and Leavers. You are all as bad as one other.
Both sides fantasise about the perfect solution and refuse to find a way through or look to compromise. Can you not see that at the withdrawal stage this is as good as it gets?
Your job is to make decisions on our behalf, which includes finding those necessary compromises on our behalf, too. Why can’t you do this?
It appears that there is no majority in the Commons currently for anything regarding Brexit; all we get are both Remainers and Leavers sticking to their own specific positions, unwilling to move for the good of the country while the overwhelming majority of the nation just wants to get on with Brexit and move on. So what will happen? Nothing!
Your resignation today and those of others in government will not achieve anything bar a combination of any of the following:
1. A NO-DEAL EXIT which will lead to chaos (and possibly recession) from March 30; did you consult local business people in your constituency before resigning to see what they thought of the deal?
2. A SECOND REFERENDUM leading to greater chasms across the whole of the country with no guarantee on which side the decision will fall. A vote to remain will see the rise of Ukip again and the antagonism of those who believe the political class never listens; another vote to leave will end up with the same round of EU negotiations, or worse.
3. THE BREAK-UP OF THE UNITED KINGDOM; in which case the Scottish National Party will jump on Conservative divisions and make hay.
4. JEREMY CORBYN IN NUMBER 10 and (terrifyingly) John McDonnell in Number 11; do you really want to be remembered in history as one of the Tory MPs who allowed that to happen? Not a legacy I would like. Their tenancy of Downing Street would be far worse than any of the problems you perceive in the withdrawal agreement.
If you were truly principled about this matter you would resign not just as a Parliamentary Private Secretary but you would resign your Berwick seat, create a by-election and fight as an Independent against this government, as you clearly don’t support it any more.
As things stand, your resignation will be largely ignored and viewed as a rather disloyal and ineffectual gesture; again, an unedifying legacy and not one in which to take much pride.
How much better your legacy could have been had you chosen to stay and help Theresa May and the country through this time?
Sadly, I believe you will be remembered as someone who not only let down her Prime Minister and her party but also, and more damningly, as someone who let down her constituents and her country. Not very good, is it?
NEIL FOWLER, former editor of The Journal, Newcastle upon Tyne, also edited the Western Mail, Derby Telegraph and Lincolnshire Echo and Which? magazine.
ANNE-MARIE TREVELYAN, MP, IS INVITED TO EXERCISE
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