A number of individuals and groups have recently written to their MPs to ask for the transition phase of our withdrawal from the EU to be extended. They are concerned at the lack of clarity about what type of deal (if any) can be expected from the current negotiations which are already stalling, the lack of time for business, industry, farming or health to prepare for Brexit, and the ‘devastation’ that coronavirus has already inflicted on people and the economy.
Local MPs have been sending out responses to constituents that are almost identical. We have seen the responses written by Robbie Moore (Keighley) and Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) and anticipate more of the same from the remaining Conservative MPs. Each contains an identical paragraph to say we have left the EU, a paragraph to say the UK is capable of negotiating good deals and a paragraph to say they are confident everything will be in place by December.
Either the letter has been written by Downing Street and the MPs, or their staff have cut and pasted it. One can only assume that after the last fiasco when MPs ventured a comment that might support a constituent’s anger about Dominic Cummings, they have been instructed not to deviate from the script this time.
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They, and by implication No 10, make no attempt to even acknowledge, let alone address, the concerns raised by constituents. They simply ignore them. While it may be beyond the wit of individual MPs to answer the questions raised by constituents, there is not even the usual attempt to pass the buck to the relevant government department to answer.
If we are to take the letters at face value, as though it was the MPs themselves who had written them, we would have to assume that they neither understand Brexit, nor its likely impact on their constituents or the region. Or they simply do not care. There is absolutely no reference to the constituents’ legitimate concerns and no comment about local circumstances or any discussions the MP might have had with local organisations, for example those representing business or farming.
Clearly these MPs are totally untroubled about the potential impact of Brexit on their constituents and it appears that Downing Street, in drafting the response, intends that they should remain so.
Update: Readers have confirmed the same reply has been sent by Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley. But over in Wakefield Imran Ahmad Khan bucked the trend and sent an original response. Credit where credit’s due.
Please contact us with details of any Conservative MPs using the same template response (or otherwise) [email protected]