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York for Europe

Celebrating the European city of York

An open letter to Julian Sturdy MP for York Outer from a constituent and long time York for Europe supporter.

j sturdy campaigning to support those fleeing Ukraine julian sturdy campaigning for brexit
Dear Mr Sturdy, here we are 7 years on from the day that roughly 37%* of the UK electorate were persuaded by a series of lies to express (in an advisory referendum with no more legal status than an opinion poll) their view that UK should leave the EU.

I think it's a good time for a bit of reflection.

* Why do I say 37% instead of the famous 52%? Well, just one of the many lies of the Leave campaigners in 2016 was that if UK voted Leave we would keep the 'exact same benefits' . That was a clear discouragement to anyone in the electorate who was happy with the status quo to even engage with the debate let alone bother to go out and vote Remain to keep the benefits we enjoyed. In that referendum 28% of the electorate didn't vote; 35% voted Remain and 37% fell for the 'promises' ('no one is talking about leaving the SM', '£350M a week for the NHS' etc) and voted Leave.

Referenda tend to be that way - those who are happy with the status quo are less likely to vote - which is why referenda usually require a 'super majority' with over 60% support needed to force a constitutional change (a threshold neatly sidestepped in 2016 by making the Brexit vote purely advisory). I won't even get into the issues about disenfranchising tax-paying EU citizens who had legally moved to UK and built their lives here ...or the fraudulent overspending by Leave campaigners ...

Anyway, based on the distinctly dodgy opinion poll, David Cameron ran away, Boris Johnson pitched for party leadership but was (rightly!) stabbed in the back by Michael Gove, so Theresa May took up the reins. She could have looked at the split of the vote, she could have done a lot of things differently - but all we got was 'Brexit means Brexit' until her unilateral decision to shut down all options but the hardest imaginable separation from the EU. The ERG got their way.

You will recall that her Brexit Secretary was your local colleague David Davis, MP for Howden & Haltemprice. He famously claimed on 10th October 2016 that 'there will be no downside to Brexit'.

Luckily for us, at this time for reflection, someone has been keeping track of just how many downsides we have seen so far.

Here's a link for you: https://yorkshirebylines.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/ddd1000.pdf

If you prefer just to scroll through a list in date order you'll find the current 1053 downsides listed here with, in a spirit of balance, the 25 'upsides'. https://yorkshirebylines.co.uk/regular-features/the-davis-downside-dossier/

After May came Johnson - I met you outside the Barbican at the leadership hustings and tried to persuade you not to support a known habitual liar. I clearly need to work on my persuasion skills! To your credit you were one of the early Conservative MPs to recognise his dishonesty in office and this week you voted to support the recommendations Privileges Committee when so many of your colleagues didn't bother to even show up.

Truss was an utter economic disaster.

Sunak is flailing around with robotic soundbites completely out of touch with reality.

Your party is in deep disarray and the Conservative brand is well and truly tarnished.

I genuinely wonder whether in the next GE you would be better off standing as an independent - you are well known locally as a hard working MP who is not part of the corrupt far right cabal that engulfs so much of Tory Westminster.

But I digress.

I remember meeting with you to discuss Brexit in 2016. Your told me you thought the EU was like a train that was destined to run off the tracks and that UK should get out before that disaster happened. We agreed to disagree!

Many, including me and my family, are still angry at having our economy wrecked and our rights as EU citizens stolen from us by a fraudulent campaign.

Many others are now angry that the promises they believed in 2016 turned out to be untrue - here are a couple of links for evidence of voter 'bregret': (https://twitter.com/DavidGauke/status/1671933402784710678?s=20; https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jun/23/britons-who-want-to-rejoin-eu-at-highest-since-2016-survey-finds).

7 years on I would love to know what you think about Brexit now - and I expect a great many others in your constituency would too.

So please, take a look at the 'Davis Dossier' and consider giving us a 'heads up' in your next bulletin.

If Brexit hasn't turned out as you expected why not say so?

Kind regards

Gill V

The above illustrations show Mr Sturdy speaking in the City in 2022, welcoming those fleeing the attrocities in Ukraine. Also a pro Brexit campaign shot of Mr Sturdy before the 2016 referendum.