Thursday, 1 September 2016

open letter sent to my MP

Dear Lucy Frazer MP

On Monday 5 September, Parliament will debate the petition signed by over 4 million people on the EU referendum.

This may be the only opportunity Parliament will get to debate the UK’s EU membership status.  The Prime Minister has reportedly said there will be no Parliamentary vote prior to triggering Article 50. [1] 

If there is to be no Parliamentary vote, that would be an astounding denial of Parliament’s rights, responsibilities, and sovereignty.

There needs to be debate.  The EU referendum result is not legally binding; it is purely advisory.  Parliament must be given the opportunity to consider the result as advice, along with any other relevant information, particularly any not available to the electorate at the time.

The Electoral Reform Society has issued a scathing report[2] on the conduct of the process leading up to the EU Referendum, in stark contrast to that leading up to the Scottish Independence Referendum.  This casts the legitimacy of the result into considerable doubt.  Campaigners demonstrably lied, and so the outcome cannot necessarily be construed as the will of an “informed electorate”.

In your 2015 General Election leaflet you said that you were “Securing Britain’s future”.  The greatest constitutional change to affect the UK in over a generation should not be made hastily, and certainly not without Parliament’s informed debate and consideration.  Please do not miss the opportunity on Monday 5 September to start such debate, and to ensure its continuance, in order to secure the UK’s future.

Yours sincerely

[1] although that may not be legally possible, since the European Communities Act 1972 must first be repealed
[2] Electoral Reform Society. It’s Good to Talk: Doing referendums differently after the EU vote. Sept 2016.


  1. Since you wrote, you must believe it's possible that Parliament will vote on Brexit. I take it that the discussion is a foregone conclusion: it will happen. It seems that it's still far too early to make an informed decision. No one really knows what Brexit will entail. Shouldn't there be an effort to put off a decision until more is known. The first step should be a thorough study that will produce a report, that can be trusted by the public, about what Brexit will actually entail. And then Parliament can vote.

    1. A bunch of cabinet ministers is looking into the process and what it entails. But their brief is to make it happen, not decide whether it happens. So, no debate, not vote; that's the current "plan".