Letter to Editor: Reflections on Robert Halfon’s Brexit stance

News / Mon 26th Nov 2018 am30 06:22am

Dear Sir,

With reference to the recent news item from my MP, Robert Halfon

1. You don’t think we are ‘getting value for money out of the £39 billion divorce bill’.
This is just a settling of accounts. What value for money would the UK get from walking away without paying? How many other countries would want to sign deals with it after it had reneged on its obligations to its closest partners?

2. You think ‘the deal has the potential to undermine the Union because of the different arrangements for Northern Ireland.’

Agreed, Britain is not able to make the decision by itself (to leave the Irish backstop, if it had entered it). But surely gone are the days when an imperious Britain could ‘just do what it wanted’. Or are you wanting to tear up the international rules-based order? Are you a fan of Trump? Or Putin?

Leaving aside the fact that Northern Ireland has different arrangements already for animal health, same sex marriage and abortion (funny how these don’t worry you), are you really in favour of tearing up twenty years of progress under the Good Friday Agreement? Do you not fear a return to the dark days in that part of the world, with possible spill-over in Harlow?

A pupil in my school here blew himself up while attempting to bomb St. Albans in 1991, my late uncle was a victim of a murderous UVF attack in County Tyrone in 1975. From my perspective ‘the troubles’ are not so far away in time or distance. I cannot be the only constituent who feels this way. I think we will all remember your role, should violence return. If you do not fear the violence I hope you will fear the electoral retribution.

3. You state ‘ It does appear that there is an end to freedom of movement, meaning we take back control over our borders.’

You seem to have the uncanny knack of getting both the positives and negatives of the deal wrong. The UK never lost control of its borders due to its EU membership. Were the long queues at Stansted deceiving me, are not all passports checked when people come from abroad? But when I crossed from Ireland to Northern Ireland recently there was no check. And when I returned to Stansted, flying from Belfast, not only was my passport not checked, I did not provide any form of identity. This was not due to EU law. What is more it is not set to change under the deal. So, no, you will not ‘take back control’ of your borders. What I did would be perfectly feasible for any other EU citizen to do.

4. Finally, you state ‘I’d just like to make it clear that in no circumstances will I vote for a second referendum.’

So you will not vote for the only available deal and you will not vote for the only likely way out of the parliamentary dead end. The implication is that you are in favour of the UK crashing out without a deal in March. This strikes me as so irresponsible it is not worth discussing. But by adding ‘Brexit means Brexit’ you are suggesting that those who voted in 2016 were all clear as to what this singular Brexit meant. You will therefore have great difficulty explaining why some people who voted that way support the deal and others do not.

Apparently, they have different concepts of what ‘Brexit’ means. This highlights the difficulty of having a ‘People’s Vote’ before the ‘People’ (you, me, everybody else) knew what the deal would be. Now it is becoming clear that Teresa May’s ‘Brexit’ does not mean Robert Halfon’s ‘Brexit’, is it not a bit arrogant of you to assume that your Brexit voting constituents all think the same way as you? It is easy to see why you don’t want that ever put the test of a referendum on the deal.


John Papadachi

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1 Comment for Letter to Editor: Reflections on Robert Halfon’s Brexit stance:

2018-11-26 07:22:32

To the man in the street it is obvious that the establishment have deliberately thrown these negotiations. This treacherous behaviour will divide our country for many years to come. The Torys haven't put country first, Treason May hasn't even put party first. The establishment have again put themselves first. So it's more of the same.

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