Pro-Europe pressure groups call Harpenden and Hitchin MP to account over ‘no deal’ Brexit
PUBLISHED: 13:59 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:43 23 January 2019
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Pro-Europe campaigners are calling on Harpenden and Hitchin MP Bim Afolami to honour his pledge not to support a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Members of Harpenden for Europe and North Herts for Europe have sent the MP an open letter holding him to account for his previous statements opposing a No Deal strategy.
On June 6, 2018, Mr Afolami wrote to one of his constituents – who is also member of Harpenden for Europe – stating: “If we look like we are drifting towards a ‘no deal’ scenario, there is no way I could support that – but I do not believe that scenario is in any way likely.”
On Monday Prime Minister Theresa May made clear that she will take the country out of the EU without a deal unless her agreement is passed by Parliament.
In their letter, the campaigners said: “There are now only 66 days until Brexit. Time is running out. We call on Mr Afolami to immediately and publicly honour his promise not to support this drift towards no deal, which would be catastrophic for his constituents. We fear he is unlikely to do this, as every action he has taken to date has supported his party line. But we hope very much that he will now put the interests of his constituents and his country before those of his party.
“Of course, it is possible Mr Afolami has changed his mind. Strange he won’t let his electorate declare they have done the same.”
In response, Mr Afolami said: “My position has not changed. I could not support a no deal outcome and I have ruled out supporting no deal on several occasions.
“It is not the position of the Prime Minister to pursue a no deal outcome, that’s why the government are working to agree a deal for an orderly exit from the EU.
“The only way to stop a no deal outcome is by agreeing a deal that delivers on the result of the 2016 referendum.
“That’s what I am working towards, and I have been working with colleagues from all parties to see how we can get cross party agreement on a deal as well – it is up to MPs to get a decent deal approved to avoid a chaotic ‘no deal’ Brexit.”