JOHN Joyce has clearly not been a regular reader of this column, as many of his points have already been answered.

Leaving aside his rather eccentric choice of leaving Scotland and Northern Ireland out of his calculations, he is simply wrong about all the main points that he makes.

The referendum was explicitly advisory, not mandatory, difficult as it has been for some people to grasp this.

Moreover, an MP’s duty is to all constituents, not only those who elected him/her, and therefore there is a duty to consider, in all conscience, the wider issues and to make honest choices about what is best for the country, which is not merely an abstract concept but home for more than 60 million people.

There are obviously difficult conflicts to resolve, but an MP is not merely a delegated agent.

People are now apt to forget what the referendum offered.

The question was vague in its simplicity, but Leave campaigners were explicit on a number of questions: there would be an agreement before leaving the EU; as we were more important to the EU than the EU to us, this would be easy (German car manufacturers would insist); we would easily be able to roll over EU trade agreements with third countries to continue the relationship we already enjoy.

These were major errors of judgement, ignorance, or plain dishonesty.

The extra £350m per week for the NHS was a cynical lie, as was any claim that we would be financially better off.

There was no reference to the Belfast Treaty, leaving an implicit understanding of some form of customs union with the EU to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

There was no question of what is now being contemplated, which no-one has ever voted on. Mr Drax, incidentally, seems to understand very little of this.

That both candidates to be Prime Minister have departed in all respects from the original prospectus and represent this as carrying out the “will of the people” simply means that Mr Hunt has stooped to the level of Mr Johnson.

That anyone could seriously consider Mr Johnson as a suitable candidate in the first place shows how terminally low this country has now sunk, a significant part of the collapse of international standing coming from Mr Johnson’s dismal ly incompetent period in office as Foreign Secretary, an appointment that quickly confirmed his unsuitability for high office.

That about 160,000 members of one political party are now entrusted with choosing the Prime Minister for the most important constitutional decisions of the lifetimes of most of us represents the end of democracy as we have understood it.

That those members are dominated by wealthy, middle- to old-aged men resident in southern England makes this a coup lacking in moral or political integrity.


Romulus Close,