Here’s the text of a letter I sent to my MP:
Dear Mr Dowd,
I am writing to urge you to advocate for a General Election to be called before triggering Article 50, i.e. before formal negotiations with the EU begin.
As the majority vote in last week’s referendum was to leave the EU, we now look ahead for a plan with regard to the future relationship between the UK, Europe and the wider world. In what comes next, it is absolutely crucial that the voices of more than 16 million people who voted to remain are heard, along with the voices of those who voted to leave. It is essential that the electorate of the UK as a whole have a say in what relationships we form, including trade agreements and movement of people. We cannot leave negotiations to the ruling Conservative Party, as they would almost certainly take us down the wrong road.
The problems and opportunities in front of us are bigger than the Labour Party can possibly hope to address on its own. Labour does not – and will probably never – allow for the electoral expression of progressive views that are held in common, given the broad range of opinion on the left. My belief is that we need a consensus approach, with the following precepts:
1. The British electorate voted for Brexit, and we must accept their verdict
2. We must work together to ensure a fair and just deal for the people of the UK and for the wider world
I would like to see a unity government with a strong mandate to carry out the electorate’s wishes. All those who wish to have an inclusive, open country with free trade and free movement of people, with protections for the environment and working people, must work together. We cannot let the closed-door, frankly racist arguments of the right win, nor can we continue down the neo-liberal road of corporate globalism at any cost. Trade frameworks must benefit the many not the few, workers’ rights must be upheld, and the protection of our environment must be paramount.
Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens and others need to come together under an umbrella movement, something like a “Progressive Left for a United Kingdom”. An early general election must be held, under existing rules, prior to Article 50 being invoked and negotiations beginning in earnest. We will have to work together to enable progressive voices to be heard — and counted — under the electoral systems currently in place.