Dear Mark Harper,
I have written to you more times than either of us probably cares to remember about Brexit, which I believe is a bad deal for Britain and particularly for under-privileged areas like the Forest of Dean. But let us assume for the moment that we both accept Conservative Party policy is to press on with Brexit because of a mandate from the 2016 referendum.
We all know that there is no 2016 mandate for leaving without a deal, since all the pro-Leave campaigning for that referendum was about the excellent deal we will get. I therefore urge you to represent the real interests of your constituents by strenuously resisting the present calls to leave without a deal — something that all informed analysis says will be catastrophic both economically and socially.
Also: the argument for following through on the result of the referendum is that democracy must be respected. As you well know, we live in a parliamentary democracy where the primacy of Parliament has never been seriously questioned since the time of the Stewarts. The notion, then, of suspending Parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit that no-one voted for is the exact opposite of democracy, and in a rational world should not even be under consideration. Yet a swing to the hardest of the hard right within the Conservative party seems to have put this option under serious consideration by the Prime Minster-elect.
I therefore urge you, for the good of the country, of Parliament and even of the Conservative party, to take every necessary measure to ensure that Parliament is not suspended. In particular, please support the amendments to the Northern Ireland Bill which will require the House of Commons to sit during October 2019.
Dr. Mike Taylor
Oakleigh Farm House #F
Gloucestershire GL17 9XF