For immediate release – 25th February 2019
Open Letter to all 54 MPs for Yorkshire & the Humber
Letter addressed to: Nigel Adams, Stuart Andrew, Kevin Barron, Hilary Benn, Clive Betts, Paul Blomfield, Tracy Brabin, Richard Burgon, Sarah Champion, Yvette Cooper, Mary Creagh, Judith Cummins, Nic Dakin, Philip Davies, David Davis, Caroline Flint, Gill Furniss, Robert Goodwill, John Grogan, Louise Haigh, Fabian Hamilton, Emma Hardy, John Healey, Kevin Hollinrake, Imran Hussain, Dan Jarvis, Andrea Jenkyns, Diana Johnson, Andrew Jones, Greg Knight, Holly Lynch, Rachael Maskell, Ed Miliband, Jared O’Mara, Melanie Onn, Stephanie Peacock, Andrew Percy, Rachel Reeves, Naz Shah, Barry Sheerman, Alec Shelbrooke, Paula Sherriff, Angela Smith, Julian Smith, Alex Sobel, Graham Stuart, Julian Sturdy, Rishi Sunak, Jon Trickett, Karl Turner, Martin Vickers, Thelma Walker, Craig Whittaker, Rosie Winterton
Dear Yorkshire & the Humber MPs
We represent ten grassroots campaign groups from across Yorkshire and the Humber. We believe our region, covering a vast geographical area and with representation from 54 MPs in Parliament, should play a strong role in shaping the UK’s future at this time of political crisis.
We write to you today to urge you to vote for the Cooper/Letwin amendment on 27th February in order to take a ‘No Deal’ Brexit off the table. Parliament has already shown, on 29th January, that there is no majority for a disastrous ‘No Deal’, but this amendment will ensure that Theresa May can’t take the country to the edge of the precipice by using its possibility as a threat. This amendment will put you, the elected MPs, back in control over what happens next, at a time when this country desperately needs leadership, not brinksmanship.
The decisions you take over the coming weeks will have enormous consequences for this region and the country as a whole for decades to come and particularly for young people, who will have to live with those consequences for the rest of their lives.
Nobody voted to be poorer. Yet the Government’s own official forecasts show that any form of Brexit would have a negative impact on Yorkshire & the Humber’s economy, with dire consequences for families in the constituencies you were elected to represent. It is the poor who would be hit hardest of all – and this region includes many socially-deprived areas that have benefitted from significant EU investment, support they now risk losing.
Some of you have already shown great courage in standing up for what you know to be the responsible course of action, even when this goes against what the majority of your constituents voted for in 2016.
Now is the time for all of you to do the right thing for the long-term interests of all your constituents – and of the country – before party allegiances and the demands of those who shout the loudest or make the biggest threats.
Since the referendum nearly three years ago opinions have changed, as poll after poll shows. In Yorkshire and the Humber, in particular, there is decreasing support for leaving the EU and even less support for the government’s negotiated deal. Countless promises were made regarding a Brexit that simply cannot be delivered. The Prime Minister’s deal with the EU does not deliver on the pre-referendum promises. It does not satisfy those who wish to leave the EU, nor does it satisfy those who wish to remain. Crucially, it is highly likely that this deal will not receive majority support in Parliament.
We know most of you would not countenance a catastrophic ‘No Deal’ Brexit, yet this will be the inevitable outcome on 29th March if there is no agreed deal and no extension to the Article 50 deadline. You have an opportunity on 27th February to prevent this disaster and allow the UK time to decide what the next step should be.
Time is running out! Now is the time for you to take a stand and defend the interests of your constituents. Please vote for the Cooper/Letwin amendment and do everything in your power to prevent a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.
Frederika Roberts, Best for Doncaster
Richard Sadler, North Yorkshire for Europe
Simon Blakely, Bradford for Europe
Pat Maguire, Hull and East Yorkshire for Europe
Rosie Price, Kirklees for Europe
Richard Wilson, Leeds for Europe
Brian Milne, North East Lincolnshire European Movement
Louise Houghton, People’s Vote South West Yorkshire
Andrew Wincott, Selby for Europe
Neill Schofield, Sheffield for Europe
Martin Brooks, York for Europe
P.S. We will be joining other EU campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament on the afternoon and early evening of 27th February. If you can spare ten minutes, please come out and say hello and try some delicious Yorkshire food we’re bringing for our “Pies not Lies” day (look out for the Yorkshire flags!). Alternatively, if you would like to meet with representatives from our group privately, please contact Richard Sadler NYorksEurope@gmail.com or Frederika Roberts firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors:
For further information, contact:
Frederika Roberts (Best for Doncaster)
Richard Sadler (North Yorkshire for Europe)
On 13th February, representatives from an alliance of ten pro-EU groups from the Yorkshire and Humber region travelled to Westminster to launch a series of demonstrations outside Parliament with the aim to increase pressure on local MPs to cancel Brexit or back a People’s Vote.
The newly-formed ‘Yorkshire for Europe’ group travelled to London with flags and banners. In Westminster, the group handed over letters for all 54 MPs representing constituencies in the region, asking them to cancel Brexit by rescinding Article 50, or to back a People’s Vote with the option to remain.
Over the past year the number of pro EU groups in the region has more than doubled, with street stalls now a regular fixture in towns and cities around the region.