It is surely time that we pay attention to the heading on the letter from my MEP, Nigel Farage who took the trouble to write to Theresa May on the last day of her role as leader of the Tory Party. Although of course she is still technically the Prime Minister today, 24 hours later, her role has been very limited most of the time since 24th May when she announced that she would resign on 7th June. One notable exception to the limit was on Thursday when she made a significant speech in Normandy. Of course she initially declared she would step down as Prime Minister back on 13th December 2018, long before she even asked Parliament to vote for her deal. It has been made clear by Theresa, and by the EU and by most of the candidates for the role of Prime Minister that there is no more negotiations that will be possible. My own view is that what counts now is the public stating its view on the deal that is now on the table as satisfying its way out of the EU, or of preferring a no deal arrangement as referred to by my MEP in his letter, or of choosing to remain in the EU with a set of reforms that will resolve the issues that led most people to vote to leave back in 2016. However despite this I do suspect that negotiations can be reopened if the new Prime Minister is willing to dissolve the Theresa May red lines that led us into such a weird set of arrangements.
All of that said I would suggest that changing politics for good is vital for our nation, irrespective of which vote wins the new referendum. Some of the steps of changing politics for good is to find a mechanism for obliging MEPs and MPs to respond to their constituents in a credible way, and for example for them to be held accountable if they spend extensive periods ignoring their constituents, working outside of their constituencies (and outside of their Parliament) and appearing to create roles for themselves that are at odds with the role they have been elected to carry out. This would impact a number of MPs and MEPs including Nigel. They also need to be held accountable if they have publicly made claims that are clearly not correct and dishonest. To achieve this we have one current petition that was established by someone called Michael Dunn which is entitled “Make it a criminal offence for MPs to deliberately mislead the general public“. A friend of mine, Sheila Foreman alerted me and her friends to this yesterday when it had achieved 23,010 signatures since its formation in mid February. In the last 16 hours there has been a further 2,400 signatures and it seems clear that this is gain a great deal of momentum following the abolition of Boris Johnsons court case.
Perhaps we could ask for a similar petition to make it criminal for MEPs to mislead us. A classic case is the letter above from my MEP Nigel Farage in which he claims that his campaign that we should have a No Deal, WTO departure from the EU demands negotiations. This would simply misrepresent the truth that a No Deal, WTO arrangement is already very clear (and very dangerous to our economy) and therefore denies the need for negotiations. He claims that the electorate have asked his party to come into negotiations and in fact he refused to publish a manifesto so there are no criteria for such a claim. Indeed it seems concerning that his party and the Tories refused to publish a manifesto for the European elections that took place a couple of weeks ago. Surely if Parties can have access to broadcasts etc, it is vital that they are expected to publish manifestos so there is some way of them being held to account over time?