Letter to my MP Julian Smith, Chief Whip of the Conservative Parliamentary Party following confirmation, from the Advocate General of the ECJ, that the UK is able to withdraw it’s Article 50 notification of intention to withdraw from the EU. The UK is able to do this unilaterally, without agreement from anyone else:

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am a constituent of Skipton & Ripon living and vote in Kirkby Malzeard North Yorkshire.

I am well aware of your efforts, as Chief Whip for the Conservative Parliamentary Party, to encourage your fellow MPs to support the EU Withdrawal deal and it’s associated Political Declaration. I commend your perseverance although it does seem that it will be to no avail.  I would like to discuss the options going forward if, as is widely expected, your efforts are unsuccessful and MPs reject the deal in Parliament on Dec 11th.

As you said in an earlier reply to me, the Referendum was a pretty clear instruction from 17.4m of the British public that they wanted to leave the EU and it is reasonable to say that the red lines imposed by our Prime Minister reflected the Brexit the people were promised by the Leave campaign when they claimed that the UK would be able to get a deal which stopped the Freedom of Movement of workers, would not require a no hard border with Northern Ireland, would leave the UK able to negotiate our own trade deals and none of this would hurt the UK economy or jobs market.

No-one can say that our Prime Minister has not done her best to negotiate a deal and in fact, given her negotiating red lines of ending freedom of movement and UK independent trade deals, this is most probably the best deal she could get. The problem is that when presented with this deal our MP’s, across parties and ideologies, do not like it and the polls suggest it is deeply unpopular in the country as well.

It is now clear that the Leave campaign promises are not deliverable and it is also clear, from the Governments recently published impact assessments, that any form of Brexit deal will hurt the UK.

So where now? If we assume that the PM’s deal will be voted down on Thursday we are left with the nightmare scenario of the UK exiting the EU on March 29th in a disorderly fashion, the so-called “No deal” option.

However, we have had confirmation today, from the Advocate General of the ECJ that the UK is able to withdraw it’s Article 50 notification of intention to withdraw from the EU. The UK is able to do this unilaterally, without agreement from anyone else.

The next step in this process must be for the Government to withdraw it’s Article 50 notification of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU. Once the exit process has been stopped the UK we will have time to pause and reflect upon what kind of EU exit, if any, it wants.

​As my Member of Parliament you have a duty to represent the best interests of the Country and in particular your constituents.

From the evidence your Government has collected during the last two years it is clear the deal on offer and indeed all other possible deals will leave the UK poorer and with less jobs, hitting your constituency in the North East hardest of all.

Leaving the EU now that we have this knowledge would be foolhardy, leaving in a disorderly fashion, when we have a mechanism to stop it, would be verging on the irresponsible.

As my representative I ask that you please represent my interests in a way consistent with the facts now available to you and that you rise above party considerations. It is clear that exiting in a disorderly fashion would be disastrous and I am sure you will use your good offices to prevent that happening.

Yours respectfully,


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