Below is an email that I have written to my local MP, Clive Lewis. I have sent this to him and will post his reply when/if I get it.
Dear Clive Lewis,
Congratulations on your re-election. I live in your constituency and was just wanting to clear up what your actual position on Brexit is. As you know, Norwich South voted overwhelmingly to remain on the 23rd June last year, with figures showing that around 60% of your constituents voted for continued membership.
My first question is, do you support letting the people have the final say on the Brexit deal? I noticed that you have co-written an article advocating for such a referendum, which concluded: ‘So we believe that [the public] should be given the choice of which direction their country takes, once our alternatives can be clearly seen. Anything less will see our country hopelessly divided long into the future – something that surely no government would want.’ I also remember you advocating for the Liberal Democrats’ policy during a hustings, in the lead up to the General Election, as well. However, when you had the opportunity to support the Lib Dem amendment to the Article 50 bill to have a referendum on the Brexit deal (which 19 other Labour MPs supported), you failed to vote for it – despite voting on different matters just a matter of minutes before and after.
My next question is about your view on staying in the Single Market and the Customs Union. You called Gina Miller, who has consistently advocated for a soft Brexit, an ‘anti-Brexit hero and a real inspiration.’ As well as this, in your Guardian article you also noted that in Norwich South ‘thousands of jobs and livelihoods will be jeopardised by the course Theresa May and her crew seem to be setting.’ As you’ll be well aware, May has been consistently advocating for a hard Brexit – outside of the Single Market. I completely agree that this would be ‘jeopardising’ for our constituency and therefore would have loved to have seen Chuka Umunna’s amendment added to the Queen’s Speech. Consequently, I was saddened to not see your name, along with almost 50 Labour MPs, supporting Umunna in trying to oppose the Brexit option, that May has chosen, by ‘set[ting] out proposals to remain within the Customs Union and Single Market’ and by getting ‘clear protections for EU nationals living in the UK now.’
To me, and many other constituents that have expressed similar views, it consistently seems to be that you’re saying one thing and doing another. Why do you advocate for a referendum on the final deal and then not vote for it? Why do you call May’s Brexit strategy ‘jeopardising’ and then not follow Chuka Umunna’s lead in opposing it?
I am looking forward to hearing back from you and I will be posting your reply (as well as this email) on my blog or somewhere else, so that other constituents will be able to see it. I am sure that many constituents would love to hear your views on what will most probably be the most defining issue for the next decade and beyond.