Chairman of Halifax Conservative Association writes to Theresa May urging her to leave EU as planned on March 29

Mike Payne, Chairman of Halifax Conservative Association
Mike Payne, Chairman of Halifax Conservative Association

The Chairman of Halifax Conservative Association has written to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to leave the EU as planned on March 29.

Mike Payne, along with other Association chairmen and Councillors from across the country, have sent the letter to the Prime Minister asking for Brexit to be delivered by the original date.

The letter comes as the planned date for leaving the EU is just a few weeks away.

Here is the letter in full:

As Association Chairmen and Councillors we represent the voluntary party and the frontline of the Conservative Party’s electoral efforts. A large number of local voters, activists and party members have made clear to us that they want us to stand up and represent their views on Brexit. This is of particular importance as local elections get closer.

We know that the Conservative Party’s principles and policies represent the national interest. Defending and winning our target constituencies is key to keeping Jeremy Corbyn out of Downing Street. Grassroots Conservatives play a crucial role in local campaigns, on the doorsteps, and in communicating the Conservative message.

This is why we fear that handling Brexit badly will undo our hard work. Endorsing a bad deal or delaying Brexit would be a devastating blow to activists’ morale and voters’ faith in mainstream politics. The British public fears that if a Brexit date is removed from the European Union (Withdrawal) Act of 2018, then this House of Commons will never put it back. Bad feeling will spill over into local elections on 2nd May and the next General Election.

Our party made solemn undertakings to deliver Brexit. Our MPs were elected on this Manifesto in 2017 which promised the UK would take back control over borders, laws and money. For this reason, the British public sees our Party as the Brexit party.

Conservative voters are watching the Brexit debate. They do not fear a no deal exit. They just want Brexit delivered. Most believe the risk of short-term economic disruption is dwarfed by the threat of long-term political trauma. They are aware that the British Government has made preparations and that no deal temporary status quo arrangements are already agreed in areas like financial services, the Common Transit Convention, energy interconnections, haulage, data transfers, cross-border rail, aviation, visa-free travel and others besides. Contrary to our party’s promises on returning control over money they fear that during an ‘Implementation Period’ the Commission would force MPs to present the British public with growing financial obligations to the EU, a restricted electricity Capacity Market, reduced tax relief on London’s service economy, and limited third country trade. During such a period the UK would have no say in EU institutions.

In 2016 the British people mandated our Government to leave the EU, take back control and deliver a new relationship with our EU partners. They expect to see that delivered and they expect the Conservative party to deliver it. A bad deal or a delay will look to all intents and purposes as a promise broken. The prospect of informing the voting public that the UK will take instructions from the very EU institutions that they voted to leave is frightening.

Corbyn’s Labour Party seek to overturn the 2016 result by advocating a second referendum. As we seek to prevent the calamity that would be a Corbyn led Labour Party making progress in the local elections, we simply must be able to demonstrate that it is the Conservative Party that delivers on the will of the people. We therefore urge our Government and MPs to please keep faith with the voting public, our activists and our members.

We must leave the European Union on 29th March 2019.