Open letter to Banbury MP

Cllr Sean Woodcock
Cllr Sean Woodcock

A cross party group of councillors have written an open letter to Victoria Prentis MP asking her to oppose a' no deal' Brexit.

The letter, signed by eight Cherwell councillors, reads:

'Yesterday, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that he will be suspending Parliament. The motive for this seems patently obvious; to run down the clock and make a ‘no deal’ Brexit inevitable.

'We understand that you have always been a party loyalist; and that this no doubt played a part in your decision to welcome Boris Johnson as leadership frontrunner to Bicester this Summer.

'But we also understand that you do not support severing all of our ties with our closest neighbours. This is clear from you having supported Remain, voted for Theresa May’s deal in parliament on each occasion it was brought to the House of Commons and voted against No Deal on March 28, during the Indicative Votes on Alternative Brexit Options session.

'You also supported Rory Stewart for the Conservative Party leadership, stating on your website;

“Rory is right that a no deal Brexit (by which I mean no deals with the EU before or soon after Brexit) would be incredibly damaging for this country’s small and mid-sized business. There are many businesses in North Oxfordshire that are part of Europe-wide supply chains.

"We need to make sustainable arrangements with our former EU partners. I don’t mind if this is via one Brexit deal or a series of agreements, but we cannot simply turn our back on Europe, who remain our closest neighbours.”

'We agree with you. While these things are a matter of debate; what is not is that the effects of No Deal are potentially devastating for local people.

These include:

• Short and potentially even medium term damage to supply chains affecting stockpiles of medicine and food; according to the government’s own analysis.

• Medium and long term shifts to international trade which will damage local businesses; particularly those involved in mechanical engineering, logistics, food and services which are major sectors of employment.

• Uncertainty and distress to thousands of non-UK EU citizens living and working in our area.

'You have always stated that you want to do the best you can to protect and serve local people. But time is now running out. So we are asking you to join with other Oxfordshire MPs like Ed Vaizey, Anneliese Dodds and Layla Moran in opposing a No Deal Brexit and doing whatever it takes to stop it from happening.'

The councillors singing the letter are;

Cllr Sean Woodcock (Labour & Co-operative), leader of the opposition & leader of the Labour group, Cherwell District Council, member for Banbury Ruscote, Cherwell District Council, member for Ruscote, Banbury Town Council;

Cllr Shaida Hussain (Labour & Co-operative), deputy leader of the Labour group, Cherwell District Council, member for Banbury Grimsbury and Hightown, Cherwell District Council, member for Grimsbury, Banbury Town Council;

Cllr Ian Middleton (The Green Party), member for Kidlington East, Cherwell District Council, prospective parliamentary candidate for Banbury Constituency, The Green Party;

Cllr Robert Nixon (The Green Party), member for Bicester East, Bicester Town Council;

Cllr Conrad Copeland (Liberal Democrat), member for Kidlington West, Cherwell District Council;

Cllr Katherine Tyson (Liberal Democrat), member for Kidlington West, Cherwell District Council;

Cllr Nick Cotter (Independent), member for Bicester South and Ambrosden, Cherwell District Council, member for Bicester South, Bicester Town Council;

Cllr Fraser Webster (Independent), member for Bicester West, Cherwell District Council, member for Bicester West, Bicester Town Council.