Matt Warman: An example of the disconnect between some MPs and their Conservative Associations
Matt Snape thinks, it beggars belief that Matt Warman MP would accept a job as assistant government whip; In the SAME WEEK his Conservative Association publish an open letter calling for Theresa May to resign over her "failure of leadership to get on with Brexit."
Following the Leave result on Friday June 24th, we heard the same phrase from many Remain Tory MPs: ‘We accept the result of the referendum and we must implement Brexit.’ Once Theresa May was appointed Prime Minister, that attitude was encapsulated in the phrase ‘Brexit means Brexit.’
Matt Warman, the MP for Boston and Skegness, was one of these MPs. He campaigned for Remain and has been spouting the same line ‘Brexit means Brexit’ since 2016. At the end of April, Warman became an assistant government whip to help push May’s Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament. He told the Lincolnshire Reporter that once a deal has been rehearsed, he hoped the process would be nearing an end.
However, the Boston Conservative Association published an open letter calling for the Prime Minister to step down due to her failure to deliver Brexit. Councillor Tom Ashton, the association’s deputy chairman, said candidates were struggling with the issue on the doorstep during the recent local elections. His call for her to resign was backed by the Chairman of Louth and Horncastle Conservative Association, Craig Leyland.
It is clear Warman has placed himself at odds with his own association members and his actions are frustrating their will. The overwhelming majority of them do not support the Withdrawal Agreement and they are responsible for Warman’s re-selection. By ignoring their wishes and accepting a position that will enable him to force the deal through Parliament, his own parliamentary future is at stake.
The Withdrawal Agreement does not deliver Brexit. Whilst it may end Britain’s involvement in the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy and the free movement of people, it does not cover other aspects that are necessary for the UK to leave the EU completely. These include ending the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction. It legalises the dreaded Irish backstop that keeps Northern Ireland separate from the rest of this country. It also enhances the prospect of a customs union, thereby preventing Britain from trading with the rest of the globe.
Bow Group Chairman, Ben Harris-Quinney, is strongly critical of Mr. Warman’s decision to take the job of assistant government whip:
"The Conservative Party's current problems began when they disempowered their members, decoupling the leadership from a genuine grassroots movement & leaving the Party to drift into the establishment malaise of the Westminster bubble. If the Party can be saved from it's current dire state, it will be via a grassroots revolution. MPs who ignore the wishes of their own association members must be the first to go. The wilful ignorance of many MPs to the views of their members and to the nation at large over the poverty of May's proposed withdrawal agreement and the desire for a full Brexit is palpable. The Government's line in response to their terrible local election results has been to parrot "we need to get on with Brexit", to do so would mean leaving on WTO terms, not jumping into bed with Corbyn to water down a deal that already falls far from the desire of the public.
We know today that the European Elections will go ahead, and the Brexit Party will comfortably beat the hapless Conservatives, the longer Conservative MPs ignore their members the longer that status quo will continue.
Put simply unless they wake up the Conservative Party's days of majority government will be over, if they don’t wake up fast the days of the Conservative Party will be over full stop."
Therefore, Warman must accept the Withdrawal Agreement does not deliver the Brexit his members want. He must do the honourable thing and refuse his new government position. If he does not, he might not even be an MP at all soon.
Matt Snape is a freelance journalist whose stories have been featured in numerous national, local and specialist publications
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