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'Sir John Hayes is wrong over Brexit'

Sir John Hayes used his latest column (Hayes in the House, August 20 issue) to urge “all who believe in Britain” to support a No-Deal Brexit.

Personally, I also passionately believe in Britain but see no evidence whatsoever to suggest that a No-Deal Brexit won’t be catastrophic for our country in every respect.

Moreover there’s absolutely no democratic mandate for a No-Deal Brexit.

Sir John hayes (15934751)
Sir John hayes (15934751)

That said, I do admire Sir John Hayes’s facility with words. For instance, in his latest column, he manages to mention all the current Leave mantras, like: Leave the EU without delay. No ifs, no buts; Take back control of our sovereignty, borders and laws; A European superstate; A pan-European fighting force; Privileged, London-based politicians - (conveniently ignoring that he’s a privileged Lincolnshire-based politician with a knighthood, an MP’s salary and three, highly lucrative consulting contracts); Unaccountable and supranational bureaucrats, etc.

I could expose what’s wrong with each of Sir John’s unfounded claims and remind voters that he never specifies what the actual benefits of Brexit will be, by when.However, this would take loads of words, and I’m acutely aware Leave voters locally respond badly to long letters from me. So, I’m going to take a different tack.

Instead, I’m going to ask everyone who currently advocates (or tends to support) a No-Deal Brexit, including Sir John himself, to conduct a quick ‘thought experiment’, namely “imagine what the benefits for the UK would be if we remained in the EU”?

Brexit (15934745)
Brexit (15934745)

As a starter for 10, can I suggest: Huge inward investment in our economy; No more firms needing to move their operations to the EU (like Jacob Rees-Mogg MP’s firm, which has already established an office in Dublin in order to remain able to trade within the EU); Avoiding decades of trying to replace the 127 trade and 750 other international arrangements we currently benefit from by virtue of EU membership; Retaining the fantastic opportunities for our children and grandchildren to work and live across the 28 member states of the EU; Maintaining the longest ever period of peace among the major powers of Europe for over 3,000 years; Avoiding the break-up of the UK; Continuing to work collaboratively on issues we cannot conceivably address on own, notably climate change and outrageous tax avoidance by multinational companies; In short, promoting collaboration, trade, development and peace across the whole of Europe?

Although I’d welcome a public response from John Hayes, I doubt I’ll ever receive one, as he’s clearly unable to specify – let alone guarantee – any specific benefits from Brexit for his own constituents.

Alan Meekings

by email

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