Letter: A hard Brexit that damages South East can still be stopped

Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East, Catherine Bearder, says that voters can and should have their say over what comes next.

March4Europe Tim & Catherine

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East, Catherine Bearder. Ed

So this week Theresa May has invoked Article 50 and the formal negotiations to leave the EU begin.

On Saturday I joined tens of thousands of people to march to Parliament Square with one message for the Prime Minister: Brexit will not deliver the UK a better deal than we have now, and that we as Europeans want to stay united.

But as it is clear the clock is ticking towards a hard Brexit it is important that people know that this can be stopped – democracy didn’t end on 23rd June 2016 – voters can and should have their say over what comes next.

Hard Brexit continues to divide us
Mrs May’s version of Brexit does nothing to unify a divided country with the 48% and the 52% on either side of the argument.

Her hard Brexit continues to divide us and takes us down a dangerous path of isolation – she says she is determined to pull us out of the Single Market before she has even started to negotiate.

European MEPs frustrated
My European colleagues in the Parliament cannot understand the line Mrs May is taking. They are frustrated, worried about Brexit tearing up their cohesion, strength and their country’s economies and they are aware of their own nationalists destabilising free trade and cross border cooperation.

Their primary concern is keeping the EU strong, united and stopping nationalism and preventing Brexit from stealing the next two years on the EU’s pressing agendas when the other issues of climate change and migration are still key.

Complex negotiations
These negotiations will be some of the most complex to ever take place – they may exceed the two year window the Treaties allowed and they will require skill and compromise.

If the Prime Minister goes in all guns blazing I am afraid we will end up with the very worst thing for all of us: industry, trade and the NHS: no deal at all.

Wednesday, 29th March, 2017 3:53pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2f9K

Filed under: Government, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

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57 Comments on "Letter: A hard Brexit that damages South East can still be stopped"

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billy builder

Can be should be replaced with must be stopped. Only 37.5% of the then electorate voted for this madness, and since then there are 600000 more 18 year olds and 600000 fewer elderly people, making a mockery of the so called referendum mandate.

If political majorities were determined purely by the effects of births and deaths on the age demographic, your logic would see a permanent increase in support for the Labour Party rather than the steady decline which has actually been taking place. You overlook the simple truth that (with the exception of a few ageing SJW’s) it is a function of growing up that people set aside the… Read more »
billy builder
So its not the elderly seeing the world that never existed through rose tinted spectacles then. By the time we leave the EU, assuming that sense doesn’t prevail that is, there will be approximately 2 million 18-21 year olds whos whole working lives will be blighted by this stupidity who did not have a vote, and there will be about 2 million dead people who voted but… Read more »

…….and there will be 3 million 21-25 year olds who will have acquired common sense and count themselves fortunate that their mistaken vote to remain under the controlling hand of a corrupt bureaucracy was defeated by the sensible majority they will now have joined.

Ummm, no. Your “Grandad knows best” attitude is part of the problem. The thing that most influences peoples political affiliations and votes is how well-off they feel. They will be worse off after Brexit, probably much worse off. If being free of the “controlling hand of a corrupt bureaucracy” is enough to offset that poverty in your mind, then good for you. For most people the opposite… Read more »

I’m afraid that the democratic process, with all its imperfections, has taken place.

We are going to leave the EU, whether the remainers, LDs or other European states like it or not.

I only hope that Mrs May has the strength of character to stand up to the bullying tactics of J-C Juncker and D.Tusk.


She doesn’t. She has a hand of “deuces”. She knows it. Juncker and Tusk know it.

billy builder

I would suggest that its May and her fellow BRexiteers that are the bullies here not the EU.


She certainly is, She constantly spouts drivel about how we should all “pull together to make Brexit a success”, but throws not even a bone of comfort to the 48% who did not want this.


Dry your eyes and deal with the fact that your team lost.


No, we *all* lost. It’s just the Brexitoids don’t realise it yet.


Suruk, if that proves to be the case we can all vote for the LDs in 2020 & rejoin!


That is very likely to be exactly what will happen. Whether it will be the Lib Dems is another question. By then it will be clear that Brexit was a bad idea and I’d expect Labour to be heavily campaigning on a “Let’s Rejoin” ticket, heartily pointing out that it was all the Tories’ fault.

billy builder

That will be after 20% of our banking sector has left our shores, commodity car manufacturers gone and both Scotland and Northern Ireland having broken with the UK.

Well done Tim and all you other Breixteers you will be remembered with the disdain you deserve.

No, it can’t be stopped. Like it or not the referendum was a democratic vote. The first task is to lessen the impact by putting pressure on the Government to take heed of the 48% who didn’t want this, and certainly don’t want a “hard” Brexit. The second task is to start campaigning to rejoin the EU. As time passes, and people become worse off many will… Read more »
billy builder

BRexit can and should be stopped by a second referendum on the terms of any BRexit deal. The first referendum whilst undoubtedly extremely flawed and largely influenced by fake news is only relevant until another referendum provides an updated view.

I remember when the argument to not invest in Industry cost, risk and low return compared to investing in Banking! It was Lord Josephs Monetary Policy adopted by Margaret Thatcher. Industry waned including our world leading Aerospace Technology passed on to Airbus in Europe. Then we had the banking crash caused by the criminal acts of bankers. Having given our technology to Europe we hang on their… Read more »
The Liberal Democrat position is clearer then ever and we saw that today. This is going to be a long 2 year negotiation and we are not going to get what a lot of people voted for. The single market was key to this connection between remainer and leavers and now it that has been abandoned. I agree with Tim Farron position on a Referendum to the… Read more »
People actually voted for one thing, and one thing only. To leave the EU. We could well end up with a deal with the EU which leaves us pretty much as we are now with regard to trade, law, and free movement, but without any say in how those things are controlled. In fact, that is pretty likely. Theresa May has a very weak hand and she… Read more »

Another unintelligible post from Nick…


Another pointless post from Pigwig.


That’s me…Pigwig the pointless poster !

The remoaners still don’t get it. I hear them on the radio – usually the metropolitan elite – wailing on about how they are citizens of the world, how will they cope travelling abroad?, will they be ale to live in Europe?, what about the city of London banking? It does not enter their heads to understand the situation of the ones who voted out. those who… Read more »
It is the Brexidiots (if we are going to start with the epithets) who don’t get it. The chances of “losing your job” or “having your hometown stripped of work” have now *increased* You have been conned by these “elites” (Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, etc) into voting *them* more wealth and *you* more poverty. Just look at the way Farage is toadying up to that arch-Elite Trump… Read more »

I see more elites on the brexit side then on the remain to be fair.


Absolutely true.

Nigel Farage: Private education, ex commodities trader.

Boris Johnson: Old Etonian, Went to Oxford University, Times and Telegraph journalist and career politician.

These are the two primarily responsible for Brexit. Real working class heroes, aren’t they?

billy builder

It was Margaret Thatcher that chose to close down our manufacturing sector, it had nothing to do with the EU and all to do with Tory idealism and dogma. May is now following a similar path that will lead to further losses in manufacturing and every other business area. All because of Tory idealism and dogma.


Why would an MEP want to (possibly?) damage Brexit other than to continue to line his own pocket.
Stop scaremongering (we’ve had enough of that), shut up and get on with it.


“Damage Brexit”? An oxymoron if ever I saw one.

As for scaremongering? Its a bit like the scaremongering when mummy told you not to play with matches.

You played with them anyway and the house is about to burn down.


Talking through your hat again.


Better than the thing you are talking through, eh?

Nobody really knows what the consequences of Brexit will be (though it should be obvious to all sane people that the EU are not going to see UK leave and then be able to remain in the single market without sticking to the 4 principles; the very reason why we are leaving). So please, please stop rerunning the referendum and the tired old arguments on an almost… Read more »

Far too sensible. Are you sure you belong on here?


Who is rerunning the referendum?

I’m looking forward to the next one.


I’m looking forward to the end of this pointless debate. I’m afraid we are doomed and as much as I , or anyone else hates the result of the referendum, I do not believe that May will change her mind on hard Brexit.


It’s all bluster.

She knows she doesn’t have any bargaining chips of any worth.

It is going to be fun watching:
TM being stitched up like a kipper (no pun intended)
The reaction of the swivel-eyed loons as their Brexit dream dissolves in front of their eyes.

billy builder
If a child is on a river bank threatening to jump you try to talk that child down. If that child then jumps do you walk away saying “well I tried”, or do you throw a life line or jump in to save the child. Just because stupid BRexiteers have cause May to push the country into the abyss doesn’t mean you give up. And it certainly… Read more »
billy builder

Doom – oh how I wish I could spell

Billy B
Very well said Minnieb.I am fast becoming an elderly gentleman and have experienced several wonderful experiences thus far in my life My beautiful wife, two daughters to be proud of and grandchildren we are also proud of. However the recent vote to leave what was once the “Common Market” and now turned into dictatorship by Germany and France has restored my faith in common British sense. Our… Read more »

Tell me. How do your children and grandchildren feel about Brexit?


Yeah, that’s pretty much what I thought.

billy builder
But you have condemned you children and grandchildren to a future where they will need to work into their 70’s, will live in a broken country that will be nothing more than an inward looking ‘little England’, a country that is unable to maintain a viable NHS, and a country where the most skilled and talented individuals have to emigrate to the EU or further afield for… Read more »
Hot Potato
Here are a couple of certainties to think about – Before we joined with Europe there was the three day week, the winter of discontent and 20% inflation. Britain now has the fastest growing gap in earnings between the haves and the have-nots in the world. In every way we are well on the way to the values of the early 20th century with many people working… Read more »
billy builder

Many thanks May and you other hard BRexiteers, you have blighted the future for generations.

It won’t be a “hard” Brexit. Theresa May isn’t that stupid. She knows full well that delivering a “hard” Brexit may appease the swivel-eyed initially, but she also knows that reality will be biting hard by the time of the 2020 election, putting her re-election in serious jeopardy (as long as Labour ditch Corbyn, that is). On the other hand, if she plumps for a “soft” brexit,… Read more »
billy builder
You have more faith in May than I do. I believe that May was always a hard line BRexiteer and only support the Remain side because she though it would win, and like any lady of the night wanted to be in bed with the winners. She will drive us to a very hard BRexit as she is to pig-beheaded to listen to reason. Even perhaps the… Read more »

B B I hope so.You remainers are so wrong the Lib dems have had it clutching to the hope that your voters will forgive you for the u turns and the five years of fame as running dogs for the Torys it aint going to happen the only Councillor you will get is the steadfast Reg Barry.

billy builder

Stiletto, the atrocity that is BRexit is about the rational centre whether that be Tory wets or Labour rights together with all sencible people between verses the extreme right and the extreme left who are driven by racism and intolerable. Our country is at stake and curtently its being destroyed by radical selfish racist BRexiteers.

Pointless Poster Pigwig

Yes. But it will be hard on us .

Don Smith


With politicians like Boris God Save the UK. Boris for PM:-)


Hasn’t all this happened while we have been in the EU?

billy builder

Heath took us into the Common Market because Commonwealth trade was waining and the economy was is in a state of collapse. Being in the EU has allowed the UK to prosper and be the 5th largest economy in the world (prior to 23June2016 – but in real terms no longer)

It should be remembered that we joined the “Common Market” but we were then conned into joining a “political” alliance, which most sensible people in the UK did not want. I believe it was Blair who did this and still wants us to follow his dictate. We can still trade with Europe but not to the exclusion of the rest of the world. No country with any… Read more »

Again with the “sensible people” thing.

That is just a matter of opinion, and an obviously uneducated and simplistic one.

Let us see how “sensible” you all seem in 3 or 4 years time.

I strongly suspect that the likes of Farage will be looked on as the traitors.


WE will mention Farage, Gove and Johnson in the same breath as Burgess, Philby and Maclean.

billy builder

It was John Major who signed Maastricht not Tony Blair.

A hard Brexit that damages the south east can still be stopped……as per too many politicians…..enticing headline but completely fails to answer the question. How ?? The voters can have their say ….when ? How? How will this affect Brexit…… “My European colleagues in the Parliament cannot understand the line Mrs May is taking. They are frustrated, worried about Brexit tearing up their cohesion, strength and their… Read more »