Here’s my latest communication to my MP, Paul Blomfield, following Tim Farron’s announcement today.
I have tried many times to email you about this and each time I get your standard email response. I appreciate that you have many people trying to contact you and I think that it’s fine to send out standard responses. But please can you make sure that your response actually answers the question I am asking this time?
This morning, Tim Farron has confirmed that his eight MPs will vote against triggering Article 50 unless there is a second referendum on the eventual Brexit deal.
I would like to know whether you will support that vote.
There is no need for me to elaborate in detail the reasons I am asking this question. On 24 June, you spoke about how bad leaving the EU will be for Sheffield – pointing to EU money that would have helped us build the local economy. You know that the 23 June vote was based at least in part (and we will never know quite how much) on misinformation and lies. Our universities (a key plank in Sheffield’s economic well-being as well as bringing much of value in other terms to the city) rely on EU collaboration, funding, staff, and above all on EU and international students. All of this is under threat of being lost when we leave the EU.
Democracy is a process, not a moment. This is not about “disrespecting the vote on 23 June”. This is about asking us, the people who put you into power, what we want, once we see what the deal is on the table. In our constitution, parliament, not the government is sovereign. The Miller case reminds us of this. If you and your fellow MPs are courageous enough, we can have an informed decision about whether to leave the EU, based on information about what the options are, and the consequences of those options.