Maria Caulfield put up a reasonable show amongst a partisan and noisily leftish audience, at the Lewes hustings.
On a crucial point, however, she is ‘misinformed’. She told us that under WTO rules, we could trade with the EU, tariff-free, pending completion of an EU agreement. This is not true. The only way for such a deal to be legal, is if the EU and the UK have signed a trade deal. Otherwise, if we drop tariffs to the EU, we have to drop them for everyone, so even this dire outcome is not available. If we fall out the EU in legal chaos, we will face a crisis of South American proportions.
Money will not be able to move, goods will be stuck at ports, contracts lost, and god knows where we go from there. Our debts, as people have forgotten, are worse than they were in 2009/10 already, thanks to Brexit. Ms Caulfield admitted that a transition period of years is essential to avoid the oncoming car crash, and it would certainly help. That is why Lewes must be represented by an MP who can speak truth to power and exert pressure to that end.
Theresa May does not like dissent, but dissent is what Lewes does best. I hope we can unite behind Kelly-Marie Blundell a young woman with the courage to reintroduce our broken politics to what were once called ‘facts’.
Firle Crescent, Lewes