LETTER: No realistic alternative

I must disagree with your assessment of Maria Caulfield’s resignation as Vice Chairman for Women for the Conservative Party.

She has told us that she disagrees with the line Theresa May has taken, but, like the other hard Brexiters, she has no practical, detailed, realistic alternative proposal to make that will not result in Britain being poorer, less influential and actually less sovereign than we are now. (That is because there is none.)

To take just one point in her letter of resignation. She says she has strong ties with Ireland. She says Theresa May’s backstop solution is unworkable. But she fails – completely – to come up with a workable solution. That is because, like most other hard Brexit ideas, anything they actually suggest will be not workable but destructive. In connection with Ireland she only mentions prosperity. If she really has strong ties to the Republic of Ireland, she must be aware that peace is at least as important to them as prosperity. There is still too much violence in the island of Ireland (witness several nights in succession of rioting in Londonderry this month), but it is incomparably lower than it was before the peace agreement. The absence of border controls forms an integral part of the peace agreement. Ms Caulfield’s hard Brexit risks bodies and lives in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. How does she justify this? She cannot, because, like all their other ideas, hard Brexit ideas about the Irish border will not fly.

No, her resignation is not a matter of principle, it is a matter of utter irresponsibility.

Rob Parsons

Mill Path, Ringmer