Three weeks ago, I asked in your letters page our MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan to explain why she has chosen to ally herself with members of the European Research Group of MPs, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, which wants to cut all ties with the EU.
Such a move would be disastrous for the North East, including this constituency, which is hugely financially dependent on its links with Europe.
It is not just a matter of 40 per cent of Northumberland’s lamb production, but 70 per cent of our trade in manufacturing is in 16,000 HGV-loads of part-completed goods, which shuttle to and fro across the Channel every single day in the production processes of German, French, Indian and Japanese-owned companies.
These companies have all made it perfectly clear that in a ‘hard Brexit’ they will move the UK sections of their production chains to mainland Europe.
The Rees-Mogg/Johnson/Trevelyan ‘vision’ seems to be based on the removal of regulations to make the UK more ‘competitive’, which, to me, suggests only being achievable by lowering our quality of life and earnings.
I challenge Mrs Trevelyan to say exactly which of those hard-won environmental, employment, welfare and safety regulations, which make life better for all of us, she hates so much.
Clearly, if we don’t comply with EU standards we can no longer trade with our current partners, so who does she see buying up those abandoned UK sections of fragmented European manufacturing chains?
Liam Fox is trying to make deals with New Zealand, Australia, North and South America to send us cheap, welfare-free lamb and beef.
Does it not matter to Mrs Trevelyan that thousands of family livelihoods in this region are risked through the ideological games played by her Westminster colleagues?