I write in response to DS Staples’ letter [NWN 1st December] and criticisms he made there regarding my disappointment about our MP’s failure to represent local views.
According to the House of Common’s members’ Handbook, MPs “have a general duty to act in the interests of the nation as a whole” but they also have “a special duty to their constituents”. This ‘special duty’ is something that Staples seems keen to minimise.
In declaring that he is ready to vote in favour of triggering Article 50, Richard Benyon is neglecting his duty to our local majority and, I would suggest, letting down the country as a whole.
Given the narrow margin of victory in the national referendum, it seems reasonable for the government to negotiate what is generally termed a ‘soft Brexit’. However, this is not the natural inclination of Johnson, Davies and Fox. If those MPs who campaigned to remain in the EU fail to put continual pressure on the government, the UK is more than likely to end up with the hardest of hard exit deals.
We have larger things to worry about, however, than an ineffectual MPs. Surely the British people should have their say on the final Brexit deal in a national referendum? Voting for a departure is not the same as voting for a destination. British people have a right to have their say on whether the ultimate deal is the right one for them, their families, their communities and the country as a whole. I wonder whether Richard Benyon supports this position.
A Prime Minister who respects the will of the people, should allow them to vote in such a referendum on the actual terms of the deal. If our MP respects the people of Newbury and West Berkshire, he should stick with the Remain position and campaign alongside the Liberal Democrats for a Referendum on the facts of the final exit deal.
If our MP cannot stick by his guns or abide by his special parliamentary duty on such a critical national issue, perhaps he should consider his position.
Parliamentary Candidate for Newbury
Newbury and West Berkshire Liberal Democrats