Letter to Paul Blomfield

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Open letter to Paul Blomfield, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central.

Dear Mr Blomfield,

I was appalled to see your name on the list of MPs who voted in favour of the Article 50 motion last month.

You were a committed and convincing campaigner to remain in the EU and you must, therefore, know that leaving the Union will be disastrous for Britain and Sheffield.

A vote to trigger article 50 is a betrayal of every voter in this constituency, including those who were inveigled into voting to leave by a campaign of contradictory claims and outright lies.

How is it in your constituents’ interests to take a path which hands the decision on whether to replace over £90 million of EU Regional Development Funding for Sheffield to this punitive, increasingly extreme, isolationist, southern-centric government?

What about all the social enterprises that have been making use of EU funding to seed their businesses?

What about SocentXchange and Groundwork South Yorkshire?

What about the businesses they have supported such as Strip the Willow, Sheffield Renewables, Whitworks Adventures in Theatre and many more?

How is it in Sheffield’s interest to damage the prospects for international research collaboration of its two large universities, when a significant part of Sheffield’s prosperity (and the jobs of your constituents) are based on their presence and contribution?

How is it in the interests of these universities’ British students to lose their right to participate in the Erasmus programme?

How is it in your constitutents’ interests to lose jobs as companies relocate to countries within the EU to avoid red tape and additional costs when selling to Europe, or simply shed jobs in response to a weakening UK economy?

What about SIG plc, which operates across Europe, or the branches of Travis Perkins at Holme Lane and Coleford Road, which may be affected by the firm’s branch closures as a result of the uncertain UK outlook?

Will HSBC change its decision to keep some IT jobs in Sheffield as a result of Brexit?

What about the large translation company SDL, which depends for both its business and employees on the EU?

Given the importance of Tata Steel to jobs in Rotherham, how can it possibly be in Sheffield’s interests for Britain to pull out of the European Union when the EU has recently imposed anti-dumping on Chinese steel?

How is it in your constituents’ interests to lose NHS staff who will have their right to remain withdrawn or their status downgraded to the point where they, too, prefer to go elsewhere?

Is the rise in racist attacks and empowerment of hate across the country in your constituents’ interests?

Is the double digit drop in the value of the pound since June 23 to the benefit of your constituents when they go on holiday?

How are the resulting price rises for imported goods to their advantage?

If you are depending on the current government to mitigate some of the damage that Brexit will do, may I suggest that your confidence is misplaced?

The Brexiters have just now managed to drive out the government’s most experienced negotiator, Sir Ivan Rogers.

Their gung-ho, ideology-driven attitude will not result in a good deal for Sheffield.

You are in a position of leadership at a crucial time in our history.

Your decision will affect generations to come.

It will affect Britain’s future, Sheffield’s future and your constituents’ lives.

It is incumbent on you to refuse to vote against their interests.

I hope that you will do so by voting against Brexit.

Carol Sykes

Administrator of The 48% – Sheffield facebook group