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Letter: Britain’s constitution is feeling the strain from Brexit

In a letter published in the Financial Times, Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, made the point that "rather than the Great Repeal bill we need a new Great Reform bill with three simple provisions: a written constitution, a proportional voting system and a fully democratic second chamber."

The full letter reads: 

Sir, I share the view that “Corbyn should use his leadership or leave it” (editorial, February 10), but suggest that it is our constitution that is feeling the strain of Brexit more than any single political party.

In a political system based on government and opposition, how can Labour fulfil its constitutional duty to strenuously oppose the government’s Brexit plans when voters in the constituencies its MPs represent have “instructed” them not to? With no written constitution, there was nothing to prevent David Cameron from unleashing the destructive EU referendum with no proper safeguards.

If we had a proportional electoral system, the sound opposition being provided by Green MP Caroline Lucas and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron would be greatly reinforced. And if we had a democratic and effective second chamber, something my colleague Baroness Jenny Jones has been working for through her House of Lords Reform bill, we might expect its members to restrain the worst excesses of post-referendum foolishness.

Currently they dare not for fear of incurring their own abolition. Rather than the Great Repeal Bill we need a new Great Reform bill with three simple provisions: a written constitution, a proportional voting system and a fully democratic second chamber.

Molly Scott Cato MEP Green, South West, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium

 

Photo taken from Flickr under creative commons license

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