The following letter was published in the Daily Mail on 1st March 2016, from SW Norfolk resident Gary Conway
South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss has taken to Twitter to announce her position on the upcoming EU referendum: “I am backing remain as I believe it is in Britain's economic interest and means we can focus on vital economic and social reform at home.” This may come as a surprise to her constituents.
On 1st February 2015 Miss Truss, described as a “Eurosceptic”, warned that British farmers were being damaged by membership of the European Union in a front page interview with The Sunday Telegraph. Miss Truss then stood for election on a Conservative manifesto that promised to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands”, to give migrants no benefits until they have lived in the UK for four years, to deport jobless migrants after 6 months and to regain powers to deport criminals. None of these manifesto promises have been kept by David Cameron's EU deal.
It simply is not credible that Miss Truss' views on EU membership have been swayed by David Cameron's renegotiation which does not return a single power to the UK, nor does it save the UK a single pound. It leaves EU law supreme over UK law. It will do nothing to enable the UK to once more control its borders. It does not even fulfil the promises in the Conservative manifesto on which Miss Truss was elected.
Miss Truss has said EU membership means UK farmers can export tariff free to the EU, but EU membership is not a requirement for free access to the single market. EU membership does however mean that farmers are unable to export tariff free to the rest of the world, and that the UK is subsidising their competitors in France, Germany and Poland. Nobody is suggesting UK farmers should no longer be subsidised, just that the UK takes control and pays the subsidies direct instead of via the EU middle-man, as we did before we joined the EU.
We live in a representative democracy. Miss Truss represents a constituency which contains Norfolk's most EU-sceptic town. In the EDP's recent survey, 67% of people in Swaffham said they wanted to leave the EU. Yet their MP does not represent their views on this, the most important political issue of our lifetime.
There are nearly four months until the referendum, I hope Miss Truss will reconsider her position.
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