YOUR VIEWS: An open letter to John Hayes

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Congratulations on your re-election, John. Although you and I disagree on issues of national policy, I respect the work you do on behalf of local constituents. However, in the wake of the recent General Election, I hope you’ll now re-consider your position on Brexit.

Until now, you’ve interpreted a minuscule, overall majority in an “advisory”, “non-binding” EU Referendum as justification for a hard Brexit (i.e. leaving the Single Market and the European Customs Union).

Also, you’ve supported Theresa May’s fatuous claim that “No deal would be better than a bad deal”, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

As our newly-elected representative locally, you need to consider the best interests not only of local constituents but also the UK as a whole. Indeed, Michael Gove has recently said it’s vital to build a national consensus on Brexit negotiations.

I submit there’s a fundamental difference between: policies for improving society as a whole (for instance, is it a great idea to have more grammar schools and faith-based schools in the UK , while concurrently cutting per-pupil funding for schools in Lincolnshire, or not?); and policies for re-negotiating the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

To date, these two issues have been conflated. Now’s the time to disconnect them and treat them differently.

While you will probably continue espousing policies like: the bedroom tax; per-person cuts to school funding, healthcare, social care, policing, and fire and rescue services; and your party’s new dementia tax, at least these policies can be challenged in Parliament. However, Brexit must be treated differently, on a cross-party basis, as it’s such a significant issue for the UK and its future unity.

During the Second World War, when the future of our country was at stake, we pulled together under a cross-party coalition. I suggest we need now to adopt a similar approach to Brexit – seeking to build consensus and keeping our country united and economically successful.

I hope I can count on your support for a new consensual approach, John.