Not too late to save the UK from self-destruction!
As an artist, a French person living in the UK for 10 years, a LGBTQ person and a progressive, I can’t help feeling like I’ve been living the end of ‘Cabaret’ these past few weeks, with the black shirts marching on this progressive bubble that is Brighton. Making art has honestly not been my priority.
After the initial shock of the referendum results, pro-Remain MPs are starting to wake up, with David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham sounding like the progressive voice of reason. The prioriy right now is not what faction of the Labour party David Lammy belongs to, or whether you prefer another party altogether, the priority is to think rationally and practically in terms of the most probably chains of consequences if the UK follows through with Brexit and do what we can to help anyone who makes their priority to try and stop it.
If you care about trying to save the UK, please do as David Lammy says to help him: sign the petition asking for a second referendum and email your MP asking them to consider the ADVISORY result of the referendum together with other sources of evidence (expert advices about the economic consequences of Brexit, the leave campaigners already backtracking on their NHS and immigration promises ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE PEOPLE VOTED LEAVE, the risk of Scotland getting their independence and the UK collapsing, a new ‘lost generation’ of under 24s and, in a lesser measure, under 35s, dragged out of the EU against their will and having to suffer the consequences for decades).
If you are short on time, please feel free to use as a template the letter to my own MP copied below. There is a generic template suitable to any Pro-Remain MP (my MP is a Tory) with an added paragraph if your MP is on the left (I also emailed Caroline Lucas from Brighton.)
Dear [NAME OF YOUR MP],
I am writing to you on my own initiative and not part of a write-in campaign. I signed the petition asking for a second referendum that has now reached 3 million signatures. This petition should be debated in Parliament next week and I urge you, as my MP, a Remain backer [ SATISTICS FOR BRIGHTON: and the representative of a city who voted Remain at 68% with a 74% turnout – REPLACE WITH YOUR CITY’S STATISTICS or delete if your city voted leave], to do everything you can to delay Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty until the British people are fully aware of the new developments regarding the consequences of Brexit, be it by a second referendum asking people to decide on a clear practical Brexit plan instead of an abstract idea, a general election or any other way to stop sending the country into a self-made recession. An initiative in that direction has been started by David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, and I urge you to support his efforts when the petition is discussed in Parliament.
The leave campaigners are already backtracking on their NHS and immigration promises, on the basis of which many people voted to leave, and there is a added threat of the United Kingdom collapsing as a country, with Scotland obtaining its independence. Many leave voters are already having second thoughts with these new developments, but once Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty is triggered, there is no going back, the UK will have to leave the EU within 2 years, regardless of whether the deal it gets meets the original expectations of the leave voters or not.
The result of the referendum is only advisory, therefore I urge you and the vast majority of your fellow MPs who backed Remain to consider it together with other sources of evidence including:
- the immediate economic chaos that followed the referendum result
- expert advices about the economic consequences of Brexit
- the leave campaigners already backtracking on their NHS and immigration promises on the basis of which many people voted to leave and their inability to come up with a realistic practical plan
- the risk of Scotland getting their independence and the UK collapsing
- a new ‘lost generation’ of under 24s and, in a lesser measure, under 35s, dragged out of the EU against their will and having to suffer the consequences for decades
- the threat of ‘brain drain’ from England with skilled workers fleeing to mainland Europe and Scotland due to England expressing its contempt for ‘experts’ and its rejection of international perspective. This would greatly affect the high skill and high growth sectors of all major cities who massively backed Remain (London, Brighton, Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester). Plunging these dynamic cities into recession would only make the whole country poorer, hitting first and foremost the most deprived areas who voted ‘leave’ as a generic protest vote.
I urge you to consider the result of the referendum together with all other sources of evidence, and to take the best course of action to protect the country from self-harm.
[INSERT FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH ONLY IF YOUR MP IS ON THE LEFT, LEAVE OUT FOR PRO-REMAIN TORY MPs]
As a fellow progressive, I recognise the ‘leave’ vote as a protest vote against Tory austerity, but the leave campaigners immediately backtracked on their one anti-austerity promise (more money to the NHS). Therefore, I strongly believe that taking the referendum result to the letter and triggering Article 50 immediately would send the UK into self-destruction: ultra-right wing people like Iain Duncan Smith who single-handedly dismantled the Welfare state in the past 5 years would only get rid of what little workers’ rights the EU offers (such as maternity leave, sick leave, 48 hours week) and the European Convention of Human Rights. The loss of these rights will only make it worse for the people already affected by Tory austerity. Their anger will grow, but because their original protest vote was strongly tainted with xenophobia, it will not take the form of social protests but of right-wing, populist riots most likely involving acts of violence against EU migrants, especially from Eastern Europe.
[CONTINUE FROM HERE WHATEVER YOUR MP’s PARTY ]
With the leave campaigners backtracking on their promises and unable to come up with a practical plan, and the economy already suffering within 3 days, there is a chance to get the moderate leave voters to regret their decision now that they are faced with the full consequences. You and the vast majority of your fellow MPs who back Remain have the power to delay triggering Article 50, and save the country from self-destruction.