As a member of parliament, you need to vote... or get out.
Next week, MPs from the main opposition party will again abstain from voting in one of the most important parliamentary decisions for decades.
On Tuesday, they will vote neither YES or NO to the Lords’ amendment to the Withdrawal Bill about staying in the EEA💬. This development is itself a scandal — that it exists at all, as a desperate ‘backstop’ to try to save us from falling out of the single market and customs union because of a lack of courage to fight Brexit all the way — and that it was left to the unelected Lords to try to be Her Majesty’s Opposition while the Labour party enabled Brexit.
European Free Trade Association, or EFTA,
& European Economic Area, OR EEA.
“The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is an intergovernmental organisation, established in 1960 by the EFTA Convention for the promotion of free trade and economic integration between its Member States (today Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), within Europe and globally.”
“EFTA does not envisage political integration. It does not issue legislation, nor does it establish a customs union.”
“EFTA’s first objective was to liberalise trade between its Member States. In 1972, each EFTA State negotiated bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with the EEC. Currently, the EFTA States have 26 FTAs in force or awaiting ratification covering 36 partner countries worldwide.”
“Since 1994, the EFTA Secretariat has assisted Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in the management of the EEA Agreement.”
“The European Economic Area (EEA) is the area in which the Agreement on the EEA provides for the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the European Single Market, including the freedom to choose residence in any country within this area.”
But I feel very strongly that, for an MP, abstaining is an act of cowardice.
We didn’t elect you to have no opinion. We elected you to make decisions.
I can understand that citizens may wish to abstain from voting sometimes. I have done that, when I felt I was not well informed enough, or when I felt an unresolvable moral dilemma.
But that does not apply to MPs, the elected representatives.
You have to inform yourselves, and you have to arrive at a decision.
This is true even more in times of crisis.
Every vote on Brexit is a vote to either enable or prevent a national disaster.
If you abstain, member of parliament, you are a coward. You are there to debate and to vote.
If you abstain in a matter of national survival, you need to give your seat back to someone who will vote.🔷