As you will of course be aware, the Prime Minister has sprung a surprise election upon us, three years early and breaking her own pledges not to do so.
She justified the timing of this election by claiming that it will increase the chances of Britain getting a better deal for leaving the European Union. Her message is disingenuous to say the least as the Prime Minister’s majority will make no difference whatsoever to the negotiation process itself and the trade-offs and concessions that will be required in order to secure a favourable exit settlement.
The Prime Minister has announced this election simply because she knows that things are about to turn very sour for her, with rising prices, stagnant wages, and the huge challenges in negotiating a Brexit deal that’s good for Britain all looming on the horizon. The choices she will have to make will alienate many voters and elements of her own party so it is pure political opportunism for her to call an election now. She hopes that an increased majority in the House of Commons will enable her to push through the hard Brexit demanded by elements of her party and championed by much of the right wing popular press, without sufficient Parliamentary debate and approval. A an unbelievable snub towards our democractic values and the principle of restoring Parliamentary sovereignty.
As you know, I did not support the triggering of Article 50 as I fear that we are headed for a reckless and badly thought-through exit from the EU that will put jobs, the economy and many of the rights we hold dear as workers and consumers, at risk. The Prime Minister declares that ‘people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead’ but every week sees another sector – manufacturing, healthcare, finance, transport, universities, farming and others – raising major concerns about how Brexit will affect them.
Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesperson has pledged that Labour will scrap the Tories’ Brexit plan and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that emphasise the benefits of the Single Market and Customs Union, and prioritise our country’s economic strength and resilience. Vitally, Labour will involve Parliament throughout, including guaranteeing a meaningful vote on the final deal.