Leaving the European Union – 29th June 2016
The people of Britain have taken an irrevocable decision to leave the European Union and it is now left to those of us in Parliament, an overwhelming majority of whom disagree with this course of action, to try to implement the wishes of the narrow majority. It will not be an easy task.
First, those politicians and newspapers that have so vociferously campaigned successfully for Brexit and those who have voted for it have yet to offer one vestige of an idea as to how are to take what is likely to become a less than United Kingdom forward. While contemptuously dismissing the views of "experts", most of whom have warned factually of the consequences of leaving, they have offered no practical answers to the details of defence, security or the economy that now have to be faced. No doubt we shall now be let into the secret.
Second, there is the small matter of how the process will be not only negotiated but financed. The "£350 million a week" that we are supposed to gain as a result of not paying into the EU has been exposed as a blatant lie and the damage to our economy as a result of loss of investments, business and markets will inevitably mean a reduction in our standard of living that will hurt not the Daily Mail's "arrogant, out of touch political elite" hardest but the poorest people in our Country.
We face, immediately, a summer during which those who have relied upon the Brexit press will find themselves paying considerably more for their holidays in Europe and beyond as the pound has fallen, as predicted, in value. Those relying upon investment-based pension schemes are also going to feel the effects of the fall in the market. These are not the 'Project Fear' predictions of the campaign. They are happening now and as the process advances the finances upon which our schools, our hospitals, our armed forces, our transport infrastructure and other public services rely will be diminished.
I give it six months before it will be hard to identify those who are currently celebrating the success of the Vote Leave campaign and saying that "I voted to leave" and it is already clear that the 'ordinary people' so beloved of the tabloids are saying "I voted to leave but I didn't really think that it would happen"
It has, and it will.
I discussed immediately, with my friends and family, my gut inclination to follow the Prime Minister's example, to take the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds and to resign from Parliament. I shall not do so. I do not quit, I was elected to do a job of work and I know from the many messages that I have received that very many 'ordinary people' trust me and rely upon me for help; there is the unfinished business of Manston Airport to complete and, finally, those of us who love and have worked for our Country for decades have a duty to try to limit the damage and, in the interests of our children and grandchildren, to get the best deal for Britain that we can salvage from this wreckage. We will do so in spite of and not because of those who have brought us to this pass.