1. Please come to our virtual AGM in June (note events tab).
2. Please sign this petition. There are currently 2 in circulation but this is the EM one.
3. Please write to your MP asking them to extend the transition period. See MP tag for addresses.
Here are our guidelines. In particular we should like handwritten letters to arrive by the first week of June.
The Transition Period can only be extended by the end of June under current law.
Advice on writing to your MP
- Include your name, address and postcode at the top of the letter/email. If it is not immediately clear that you are a constituent, the MP is more likely to discard the message.
- Hand-written letters are more likely to receive replies.
- Keep it brief.
- Where possible, relate the arguments to your own circumstances. MPs are interested in how the issues affect their own constituents. In this case, personalisation may be possible if your business or job is at risk from a hard Brexit or from ending the transition period too soon. Or perhaps you are an NHS worker with first-hand experience of the current crisis – What does your experience and expertise say about the need to extend the transition period or retain freedom of movement for a little longer?
- Avoid using a standard template. MPs pay more attention to emails/letters which have been written by individual constituents. They want to hear from you.
- Include some factual arguments, supported with data if you have access to it. Below are some suggested arguments, but this list is not exhaustive. There is no need to use all of the arguments available. Just state those that you feel most strongly about.
- Don’t worry if you feel you do not have particular expertise on the issues. MPs respond to numbers as much as they do arguments. So just do your best, keep it brief, and don’t feel you have to spend time researching and polishing your letter.
Arguments for extending the transition period
You can use these arguments in your letter to your MP.
- The Government should be fully focused on resolving the Covid-19 crisis. Continuing the complex trade negotiations with the EU will cause a distraction from this more pressing issue.
- Even if it is possible to negotiate a deal by 31st December, it is more likely to be a poor quality deal in the very tight time frame. This would mean abandoning the Government’s promise to deliver ‘a good deal’ for the British people.
- In a democracy, policy decisions must be scrutinised by the opposition to ensure checks and balances. While Parliament is not fully operational, there is limited possibility for the opposition to scrutinise policy or hold the government to account during the negotiation process.
- Sticking to the rigid deadline of 31stDecember puts us at a greater risk of leaving on mainly WTO terms, which would be hugely damaging for the economy. All other OEDC countries have free trade agreements with other large economies.
- The perceived ‘democratic mandate’ to impose Brexit on the British people has been fulfilled. There is no democratic mandate for a damaging hard Brexit. We have left the EU but still benefit from the single market and the customs union during the transition period. The EU has given us the option for this to continue and there is no democratic reason to refuse this opportunity.
- The pandemic has highlighted our reliance on EU citizens to staff our NHS and other industries where workers are in high demand. We need to retain our EU NHS staff, and we can best achieve this by extending the freedom of movement rights that we currently enjoy.
- It may be worth enquiring what sort of Brexit your MP would support. Membership of EFTA or EEA would be favourable for purposes of trade and business and would keep us more closely aligned with EU standards (eg. on food safety, human rights, environment) which are generally higher compared with other large trading blocks.
For extra poll information please see: