An open letter to Stephen Hammond MP

Dear Stephen,

I am writing this open letter to you in the hope that, despite what you intimated on Radio 4's World at One yesterday, I can persuade you to vote against Boris Johnson's Brexit deal in the Commons this Saturday. You represent a constituency that voted 70.6% in favour of remaining in the EU and the time has come to show your constituents the loyalty and leadership they have a right to expect from their MP.

Although you voted in favour of Theresa May's withdrawal agreement on all three occasions, the new deal is significantly worse and, despite the Conservative Party's Unionist credentials, risks fatally undermining the three unions on which the UK is built.

  • The introduction of a customs and regulatory border down the Irish Sea will weaken NI's ties with the GB.
  • That border will harm trade across the Irish Sea and disproportionately  affect the economy of Wales.
  • Giving the NI Assembly a role in the ongoing relationship, but no similar say to the Scottish Parliament, will cause resentment amongst Scottish voters who, like those in NI, voted to reject Brexit.
The accompanying political declaration has also changed for the worse.
  • Passages on regulatory alignment have been removed potentially reducing UK protections in respect of the environment, social & employment rights, data controls, finance & banking.
  • The "close economic partnership" envisaged under Theresa May's deal has been replaced by a commitment to an economically much less advantageous "free trade deal".
  • The envisaged timetable will necessarily result in another 'cliff edge' toward the end of next year, with a very real possibility of a No Deal Brexit at the end of the transition period.
In the circumstances I urge you to stand up for Wimbledon, vote against this disastrous deal and join me in the fight to give the people the final say on any Brexit deal.

Yours sincerely
Councillor Paul Kohler
Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Wimbledon