MP needs to explain views

When our MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed Anne-Marie Trevelyan uses her column in the local press to air major policy issues, I perk up.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 12 March, 2019, 08:00

However, she tends to leave important questions unanswered, her Brexit words on February 28, for example.

When Mrs May, at last, put an EU deal to the House of Commons, our MP decided it was so bad that she had to resign her Government post and, in opposing the deal, swelled that historic 230-vote Government defeat.

In one sense, Mrs Trevelyan’s decision was a pity. Her Government responsibilities had included special education needs, a field in which she has some interest and knowledge.

However, for her, Brexit was more important; so important that she has gone way beyond the Government and has supported ‘no deal’.

She now ‘reassures’ us that there will be continuing supplies of medicines.

She also advises travellers to have ‘six months remaining’ on our passports.

I don’t recall any of that in the referendum debate.

This brings me back to the unanswered question: Why on earth does Mrs Trevelyan want such a crisis Brexit?

It can’t be because we’ll be better off – the Prime Minister says we won’t and that no deal will make us worse off still.

It can’t be that at least the North East will benefit – we’ll suffer more than any other region.

It can’t be the Brexit benefits – one Leave leader says the benefits are vanishing and another says that we’ll have to wait 50 years for them anyway.

It can’t be those advantageous trade deals – most of even the small ones aren’t ready, and the bigger ones proposed, for example with Japan, India and the United States, are exposing our new weakness, making exorbitant demands like lower food standards and higher NHS costs.

It can’t be reducing immigration to tens of thousands – those figures are going up.

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It can’t be the sky-rocketing world status of the new ‘globalised Britain’ – quite the reverse according to our ex-ambassadors.

Unfortunately, Mrs Trevelyan may be too busy to answer questions about those points.

I will, however, as fairly as I can, try to answer my questions for her. If I misrepresent her, it will be unintentional and she can always correct me.

Her first defence is that we have stood alone before (a dubious claim) and should do so again; there can not and should not be anything above the nation state; the UK should not be bound, even by international rules to which we have agreed.

I could demolish that at length, but Donne will suffice here – ‘No man is an island’.

Secondly, she believes that the Government must implement the ‘will of the people’ and respect the referendum vote as the final word.

I could explain the flaws in the referendum process or the 17million Leave vote being less than the percentage needed to call a strike, or the Government’s reluctance to inform (let alone engage with) the 63million who didn’t vote Leave.

Instead, I remind Mrs Trevelyan that she lost the 2010 election, but she asked us to think again in 2015 and she won.

Now that we have a clearer idea of what Leave means and what it costs, shouldn’t we think again about that too?

If I’m wrong, I should be corrected.

If I’m largely right, Mrs Trevelyan needs to explain why she deserted special education needs for a harmful Brexit.

Peter Watts

Berwick-upon-Tweed