Unthinkable possibility in safe Tory seat?

Date: Tuesday 4th June 2019

I HAVE enjoyed the debate arising from my letter of 11th May and the letters from others, as well as the courteous reply from our MP which, sadly, missed out the bit concerning his peculiarly favourable approach on the UK’s continued membership of the EU’s customs union.

This would prohibit any UK free trade agreement with any other country and would subject the UK to all the terms negotiated by the EU on all existing and future trade agreements with no say whatsoever on the terms agreed. Vassal state status, in effect.

This might be OK for the 20 per cent of UK companies which actually export to the EU, and the CBI and the Institute of Directors will smile on this. The 80 per cent of British companies which do not actually trade with the EU 27 will be dismayed as they are stuck with all the costly rules and regulations regardless. They are the backbone of the UK economy and they are being ignored.

I hope that the members of the Penrith and Border Conservative Association have had a good look at the European parliamentary election results for Eden district.

The Brexit Party picked up 35.30 per cent of the votes here and, along with others, including the Conservative Party at 12.40 per cent, polled 52.60 per cent for all parties supporting Brexit, which ties with the 53.30 per cent who voted Leave nearly three years ago.

The Remain campaigners, including the Lib Dems and the Green Party polled 41.9 per cent. I’ve excluded the Labour Party at 5.50 per cent as one remains uncertain whether they will be able to decide which side they are on. I’m pretty sure that the very few people who voted for them are no more certain of this than I am.

As our MP steps into election for Conservative Party leader and next Prime Minister mode, I’d ask him to consider these results in his home constituency.

Getting only just over a third of the Brexit Party vote should give him pause for thought. A 16,000 majority in one of the safest Tory seats in the country would normally allow him a degree of security. Reneging on the terms of the manifesto on which he was elected — to leave the customs union — might not be such a smart move any longer.

The unthinkable possibility of a Labour or Lib Dem MP in Willie Whitelaw’s old seat after The Brexit Party candidate picks up 15,000 votes becomes credible.

Funnier still, what if The Brexit Party scoops votes from both Labour and Conservative parties and finishes ahead of the Lib Dems and puts the Conservatives and Labour into third and fourth places. I wouldn’t bet against this.

RICHARD ELSY

Beacon Edge,

Penrith.