Letter to editors on Brexit and Parliament
I welcome the High Court’s decision to require the Government to return to Parliament the decision over the formal triggering of Brexit negotiations. After all, one of the ‘leavers’ ‘key campaign messages was over the importance of the return of powers to the UK Parliament.
It is wrong of the Prime Minister to substitute Government by decree under ancient royal powers for Parliamentary sovereignty over such a vital issue. England successfully fought a civil war 350 years ago against government by the king under such overbearing royal prerogatives. Londoners stood for parliamentary rule then, and do so now.
The more work we do on Brexit at City Hall, the more frightening we see the implications for London’s economy to be. And if London’s economy merely sneezes, then dependent as they are on the revenues generated in London to finance their services, the rest of the country catches a cold.
We should also remember that the referendum result was a very close one nationally; and that London voted strongly to remain, as did both Barnet and Camden and the 5 parliamentary constituencies they comprise. Two of the Conservative MPs for Barnet were way out of step with their electorates’ wishes but the other one and our two Labour MPs were in line with their constituents’ opinions for ‘remain’.
Of course, we must respect the wishes expressed by the referendum, but respecting the principle of Brexit does not give a blank cheque for the wholesale destruction of our capital’s economy. I hope that our MPs will support amendments to maintain access to the single market and to the sort of migration that London’s economy needs to thrive; and to ensure London has a seat at the negotiating table alongside Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland, all of whom have such special interests to protect.
We should not close off our options until whatever the deal that emerges has been properly scrutinised. And so I also hope that an amendment will also succeed, to allow the people to have the final say in a further vote, either at a general election or in another referendum, on whether they wish to accept the final terms whatever they may be, after all.
Andrew Dismore AM
London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden