We are making real progress with the campaign against what our Chairman termed “the barmy amendment” to write “29 March 2019 at 11.00PM” on the face of the EU Withdrawal Bill.
Dominic and other MPs have made very clear their opposition. The proposed amendment would put Britain in to a straitjacket that increases the risk of a ‘no deal’ Brexit or of chaos because there isn’t time to sort out the details of future arrangements.
The distinguished financial commentator Anthony Hilton has picked up on our CGE briefing paper “A Terrible Gamble” www.standard.co.uk/business/anthony-hilton-theresa-may-is-wrong-to-be-rigid-on-eu-departure-date-a3691651.html. Even a Brexiteer MP – Geoffrey Cox QC – has spoken out against the proposed amendment.
Edward Bickham – Vice Chair Conservative Group for Europe
But the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail have attacked our MP members and other MPs standing up against what Anthony Hilton has described as a hare-brained scheme. As a seeming result of a vicious press campaign some MPs – including Anna Soubry – are getting hate tweets containing threats that their offices have had to report to the police.
Each of us must do all we can to show our MPs that we back them – and to show every MP that there is real disquiet in the country at the fixed date amendment.
We know some of you have already started to email MPs and encourage others to do the same. Some of you have been surprised when MPs who have kept quiet on Brexit have come back very quickly and said this amendment causes them concern.
If you have not already emailed your MP (or others who are well known to you) please do so at once. It does not matter if your MP is a Brexiteer or even if your MP is not a Conservative – the objective is to get MPs to see that Dominic, our Deputy Chair Antoinette Sandbach and the Chair of our Parliamentary Group, Stephen Hammond and our other MPs have support in the country.
Please encourage others to join in the campaign.
In particular if you have business contacts get onto them and give them the material we are attaching to this email – a copy of the briefing note and a pdf appeal to join our campaign which includes practical guidance on how to make an impact on an MP.
You will see that we are appealing to all “of good will” – not just Conservatives. This should be a national campaign, not a partisan campaign, and please emphasise to those belonging to other or no party that this is something everyone can join in.
We are not getting abusive tweets. We are not having to ask the police for protection simply for doing our jobs. These are the risks our MPs are now running.
The least we can do is support courageous MPs like Anna Soubry, Nicky Morgan and Tom Tugendhat by making sure that all MPs know that they are speaking up for many, many people who believe that the idea of writing “11.00PM on 29 March 2019” on the face of the EU Withdrawal Bill is a very dangerous step.
We urge you to read “An Appeal to all of Goodwill” and start emailing now.
Edward Bickham, Vice Chair – Conservative Group for Europe
Liz Spencer, Membership Secretary – Conservative Group for Europe
Fully endorsed and supported by:
Dr Nicholas P George, Chair – The Free World Organisation, Member – Conservative Group for Europe, Campaigns Manager Lincolnshire – The European Movement