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The Tories are lurching to the right

18 May, 2017

• UKIP is not standing a candidate in Hampstead Kilburn – was there a back-room deal between Ukip and the Tories in order to unseat pro-European Tulip Siddiq?

The One Nation wing of the Tory party appears defunct, as evidenced by respected pro-single market Tory councillor Andrew Marshall leaving their flock this year. The Tories are unfortunately not reaching for the centre but lurching to the right.

Under Theresa May, the Tories have effectively become the Ukip-lite party: anti-single market and anti-immigration, even when there is a strong economic case for trade and for the benefit of the talent and skills coming from our close European neighbours.

The posturing over Brexit negotiations courts ignorance and fear and it is a shame that May appears to be run by what the Daily Mail says instead of what would be better for this country.

My fear is that with no check on this kind of nationalism, there will be more vilification of our institutions – the kind we’ve seen against High Court judges, journalists, and public figures, all who dare express an opinion on why we should retain close relations with the EU.

For Hard Brexiteers, the fight will not be over until they cure what they see as the European virus infecting our courts, town halls, and the media. The result will be less pluralism and the UK will become less of an open society.

Whoever wins on June 8 we will need MPs to robustly scrutinise the Brexit deal in a spirit of common sense, instead of economically damaging nationalism. We don’t need an MP here to just broadcast May’s or Boris Johnson’s jingoism.

South Hill Park, NW3


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