Alan Dean

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Stansted North and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Learn more

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LETTER TO LOCAL PAPERS

by Alan Dean on 12 February, 2018

It’s good that the local debate on Brexit has restarted. We all should know the future realities and risks of Brexit.

I attended the recent debate organized by the R A Butler Debating Society. I was reassured by the overwhelming rejection of the proposition that crashing out of the EU without any agreement on future trade and other relationships with our Continental neighbours would benefit us all.

I felt that our newest MEP, John Flack, used emotional dogma unsuccessfully to make his case. He implored that we should back a hard, cliff-edge Brexit out of respect for our historical national heroes Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill. I came away reassured that most attendees at Hart’s Books in Saffron Walden were inclined to live for the future rather than to looking backwards with nostalgia on days long gone.

I recognize that there remains a substantial though waning constituency for a hard and reckless Brexit, irrespective of the consequences for the wellbeing of ordinary men, women and children.

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group is powerful within the Conservative Party in trying desperately to undermine the prime minister. According to reports, it contains our own member of parliament, Kemi Badenoch. It seems strange to me that a newly appointed party vice chairman would be part of a subversive, ideological group that threatens the continued existence of her party.

For me, the future of our nation is more important that the continued existence of any political party. Public opinion is shifting away from the narrow victory for the Brexiteers in June 2016. Support for remaining in the EU now seems to be narrowly leading public opinion and there is also a large majority opinion supporting a new vote on whatever deal our struggling government manages to carve out for us.

The extreme right-wing followers of Mr Rees-Mogg seem to be on the back foot, throwing insults and threats in all directions, so the time for people to stand up to be counted is now. Let’s do so, before it is too late!

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