BREXIT (21 November 2018)

As you can imagine, my office is receiving a large number of emails about Brexit, in some cases (which accounts for the volume) identically worded or with a small variation. They include the full range of opinions and views. I am therefore sorry if you have had a delayed response but we only have finite resources and we have been prioritising casework over campaigns which I am sure you would understand.

The situation on the negotiations for the UKs withdrawal from the EU is changing on a daily basis but I thought it would be helpful for you to have an update on my latest posiiton. Please forgive me if you have not raised these points but I hope this response will be of use to you.

I have read the draft withdrawal agreement and accompanying documentation and have been raising questions on this with my colleagues. I think it is important to have these answers before making the decision on the meaningful vote which should take place next month. I will reach my decision based upon my own objective assessment rather than upon prejudice, press speculation and other commentators' views.

I also want to see the outcome of the negotiations this week on the future arrangements which are a vital part of the equation. Matters may still change at this late stage.

In case you have not read the primary source documentation I attach a link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/progress-on-the-uks-exit-from-and-future-relationship-with-the-european-union

I am the Vice Chair of the 1922 Committee and in any vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister will be a Returning Officer. It is therefore not appropriate for me to express an opinion in public on how I will vote myself or whether I have sent in a letter to Sir Graham Brady MP.

I do not currently support a second referendum not least because I have spent 9 months working on UCL's independent Commission on Referendums and I attach the link here. If a second referendum was going to be called it should have been discussed at length and included in the original legislation.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/research/electionsandreferendums/icreferendums

In order to manage our workload I will post any future updates on my website.

However I welcome people's views on this continuing and rapidly changing situation and would thank you for your input which is very much appreciated but you may not receive an indiviudal response because of the current weight of correspondence.