It’s great when Brexiteers, like Mr R Garner (Letters, 27 February) and John Hayes MP (Hayes in The House, 27 February) rail against me for presenting uncomfortable facts and evidence about Brexit, as they simply give me further opportunities to point-out the fundamental flaws in their beliefs and assertions.

This time around Mr R Garner says, “Isn’t it time for Mr Meekings to down his angry pen and look to a brighter future?” Short answer: no. Why would I believe in the economic equivalent of unicorns, when there’s no evidence unicorns exist?

To be fair, John Hayes does quote at least one bit of evidence in his latest weekly column, namely “research from Economists for Free Trade.” Unfortunately, John Hayes must have missed my earlier letter in the Free Press on 20 February, in which I explained, in some detail, why this “research” is fundamentally flawed. So, I now challenge John Hayes to give me any credible evidence from leading economists this field who support the findings of the tiny band of “Economists for Free Trade” led by Professor Patrick Minford (the economist who told Margaret Thatcher the Poll Tax would be a huge financial success).

Even John Hayes’s own Conservative government’s Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) recently produced a cross-departmental briefing paper showing that all Brexit strategies would make the UK worse off, both in the short and long term. Doubtless, John Hayes’s belief in unicorns is greater than mine.

Twenty months after the EU Referendum on 23 Jun 16 and eleven months after John Hayes’s government triggered  Article 50 on 29 Mar 17, Theresa May’s Cabinet still don’t know what sort of Brexit they’re seeking or likely to get.

How do I know this to be true? Because John Hayes and 61 other Conservative MPs have recently sent Theresa May a letter, described by most commentators as a “ransom note”, setting out the six ‘red lines’ of the hard-right Conservative European Research Group, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg. Please search for this letter online, and weep at what it says.

Let’s be clear, we can either have Brexit, which will cripple our economy, or we can get back to having the fastest-growing G7 economy, which we had back in 2016 and which will allow us to build a fairer, more just, more equitable society in the UK, backed by the financial capability to address pressing social issues locally, like access to affordable housing, healthcare, social care, properly funded School places, adequate funding for the Police to address crime, antisocial behaviour, illegal gangmasters and modern slavery, etc.

In an edition of the Free Press (27 February, Page 10), in which the Chief Constable of Lincolnshire describes making a “New attempt by county’s force to avoid ‘cliff edge'”, I wonder how John Hayes is happy to waste his whole ‘Hayes in The House’ column to advocate Brexit, rather than addressing the very real issues people locally are experiencing on a day-to-day basis.

Moreover, John Hayes concludes his latest weekly column by saying “Now, to finally thwart the snarling and whining of the Brexit deniers and unrepentant Europhiles [presumably including me], the people must triumph again.” So, let’s bring it on, John. Let’s have a referendum on the terms of Brexit negotiated by your Conservative government. This is exactly what democracy demands.

Author: Alan Meekings

Alan Meekings is a management consultant specialising in the field of Organisational Performance Management. He has led programmes of major change and sustainable improvement with public, private and third sector organisations for over thirty years. He is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University School of Management, a Visiting Scholar at Heriot-Watt University School of Management and a member of the European Movement nationally and in Lincolnshire.

All views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Conservative Group for Europe or the European Movement.

Editors View:

Alan is far from a lone voice in Lincolnshire in general and South Holland and the Deepings  in particular, but rather one of those representing the voices of many. In just over 12 months the European Movement has grown from having no branches in the East Midlands to now having six. The largest of these is the Lincolnshire Branch, which after one year had 350 active supporters and is continuing to flourish with major events taking place over the next few months and throughout the summer.

John Hayes MP seemingly is unable to help himself when it comes to the use of unprofessional, inflammatory and quite frankly offensive language when referring to the EU. This is not ‘mainstream’ but rather the product of having such an insular and cut off view in the long term safest seat in the country. Well he will not go unchallenged any longer, with the growing swell of opposition to his hard line views and membership of the rather sinister ERG. And now that the Conservative Group for Europe have a representative in his own local Moulton Conservative Association Branch, things are changing for ever.

Dr Nicholas P George

Dr George is a National and Local (South Holland and the Deepings) member and Patron of the Conservative Party as well as a Party Donor through his Companies. He is also a member of the Conservative Group for Europe, National Member of the European Movement and the European Movements local Campaign Manager for Lincolnshire. Chair of the Free World Organisation

All views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Conservative Group for Europe or the European Movement.