Not only are we now very possibly trapped in the EU web until Halloween but we face stumping up ten of millions of pounds to take part in the bloc’s elections.

Dear Editor,

Not only are we now very possibly trapped in the EU web until Halloween but we face stumping up ten of millions of pounds to take part in the bloc’s elections.

In 2014 it cost this country £109 million to participate and it is bound to cost even more this time round – plus the billions of pounds our EU membership will cost us over that six-month period. We should never have ended up in this situation and the way Brexit has been mis-handled has damaged voter confidence beyond measure.

Establishment parties will hardly relish participating in the EU elections as they will be heavily punished by voters for the self-serving behaviour and deceit of so many of our Westminster politicians.

There is no plan or mechanism to use this six-month extension to achieve a decent, Canada-style free trade deal with the EU. In reality, six months further down the line after yet more recriminations, political resignations and downright anger, we’ll be faced with the same three possible outcomes.

Some would cancel Brexit and do irreparable damage to democracy. Then there is May’s deal which fails to deliver on the reasons people voted for Brexit, or a No-Deal Brexit in which we trade with the EU on WTO terms.

I always wanted a good deal, but May’s mismanagement leaves me having little option but to support a no-deal Brexit.

Yours faithfully

Jonathan Arnott MEP

Brexit Day and democracy has been betrayed

“Today is the day the United Kingdom should have been leaving the EU – and just look at the appalling mess we are in,” said local MEP Jonathan Arnott .

“It is a disgrace that this country finds itself in such an uncertain and chaotic situation because of incompetent and self-serving MPs.

“As we are all well aware 17.4 million people voted in June 2016  to leave the European Union, no ifs or buts, just to leave and today was supposed to be Brexit Day.

“We had the fiasco of the eight inconclusive parliamentary votes on Wednesday and now we hear that MPs are to vote again today (Fri) on part of the deal negotiated with Brussels,” said Mr Arnott, Independent Euro-MP for the North East.

“But it will not be what is described as “a meaningful vote’ and won’t include a vote on our future relationship with the EU.

“No-one could have foreseen what a complete mess of negotiations would be made by our politicians in Westminster. But perhaps we should, given that so many have always been in favour of remaining shackled to the failing economic bloc that is the EU.

“I never thought I would see democracy so blatantly trashed by those elected to represent us and it will not be forgotten by the British voters who opted to leave. They have been betrayed and it is shameful.’

There are already enough loopholes in election campaign rules. We do not need to introduce more

Dear Editor,

Legislation should never be rushed through; the risk of unintended consequences is one of many reasons why. Yet the government is backing the Overseas Electors Bill, which would abolish the limit on donations to political parties by British citizens living abroad.

The Electoral Reform Society has rightly pointed out this could pave the way for UK politics to be influenced by unscrupulous individuals living overseas, a serious concern. They also point out that it is a basic British principle that those funding our parties should be domiciled here.

Businesses making political donations must generate revenue in the UK; it seems equitable that individuals wishing to do likewise and influence British government should be able to demonstrate an enduring connection to the United Kingdom.

There are already enough loopholes in election campaign rules. We do not need to introduce more. I wholeheartedly agree with the Electoral Reform Society that our Parliament and parties should not be available to the highest bidders around the world.

Our political system may well already be in a complete mess. This is hardly the time to risk greater problems through rushed and ill-conceived legislation.

Yours faithfully

Jonathan Arnott

With just over two weeks to go it seems most likely that Brexit is to be betrayed

Dear Editor,

With just over two weeks to go it seems most likely that, as I always feared, Brexit is to be betrayed.

The political establishment never truly accepted the outcome of the 2016 referendum. They paid lip-service to respecting it, then wriggled and twisted to block it at every turn.

Parliament this week will in all probability vote against Theresa May’s deal before also voting ’no’ to a ‘No Deal’ – despite recent ComRes polling showing that by 44% to 30% voters would prefer to leave without a deal if concessions cannot be extracted from the EU.

Ignoring the referendum result, and May’s own ‘No Deal is better than a bad deal’ pledge when she wanted our votes,  Parliament is then likely to vote to request an extension of Article 50 as the only way of avoiding the ‘No Deal’ they’ll have just voted against.

Brexiteers could then be left with only two realistic scenarios. First – a long extension of Article 50 leading to a second referendum and either Remain or May’s deal; second –  a short extension of Article 50 leading to May’s deal.

Faced with a forced-choice of May’s deal or Remain, I could easily imagine some of them voting for May’s deal.

If the public through four consecutive elections (EU2014, GE2015, Ref2016, GE2017) cannot enact change and their repeatedly-expressed will is ignored, it’s not just Brexit that will have been betrayed. It’s democracy itself.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Arnott MEP

Moves for a ‘People’s Vote’ on Brexit are frankly anti-democratic and must be rejected.

Dear Sir,

Moves for a ‘People’s Vote’ on Brexit are frankly anti-democratic and must be rejected.

The people voted in the 2014 European elections, the 2015 General Election, the 2016 referendum, and the 2017 General Election.

We don’t need a fifth vote, people don’t want one, and actually there isn’t time for one.

We’re five months from Brexit and Electoral Commission rules require a six-month campaign period for any referendum.

And the EU won’t agree to extend Article 50 because it would mess up the European Elections across the whole EU next year.

The whole idea of another referendum is illogical, destabilising and doomed to failure and I’m delighted that a counter-petition has been launched on the official parliamentary petitions website.

That petition, launched by Ronald Mitchell, recognises political reality and I would urge all those who believe in democracy to sign it.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Arnott MEP

It isn’t hard to understand why support for None of the Above is surging.

Dear Editor,

Yet another political conference season draws to a close. Labour floated controversial, borderline-communist policies to seize chunks of businesses and one speaker received a standing ovation for mooting taking us back to the 1920s with a general strike.

A vacuous Tory conference tinkered around the edges with platitudes, a few vague policy proposals.

Conferences shouldn’t just be an excuse for parties to talk to their own most supportive members and for MPs to pat each other on the back; they’re a chance to showcase a vision for the future to the wider public. And how did the public react? Well, a recent poll has revealed that 34% of people now think that Theresa May would make the best Prime Minister, whilst 23% preferred Jeremy Corbyn. None of the Above was in the lead with 43%.

It’s a perfect representation of the state of British politics in 2018. Theresa May leads an incompetent, divided government, unpopular even amongst her own Cabinet – never mind the public. And whilst Corbyn’s unique blend of Marxism and failure to stamp out antisemitism may appeal to the extreme left, it has failed to strike a chord with the public and Labour trail even this inept government in most polls.

Faced with issues from Brexit to the NHS, housing, infrastructure, education and policing – is this really the best the two main political parties can offer? It isn’t hard to understand why support for None of the Above is surging.

Regards

Jonathan Arnott MEP