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10th November 2017

Dear Theresa May

Amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill

I write with regard to your email of 10th November 2017, regarding your desire to enshrine in UK law your decision to rescind the UK’s membership of the European Union on 29th March 2019. You claim that this is justified, first by the ‘clarity’ with which the UK voted for Brexit in June 2016, and second by what you claim is yet wider support for a new arrangement, not based on membership, with the European Union.

The level of public support for Brexit is indicated, I feel, by a slew of research contradicting that very marginal referendum result; by a clear contrast between the younger generation, who support European membership and will suffer for its loss, and the older generation, who will not live to see the result of their decision; and by the proportion of Leave voters who now believe that they were lied to during the referendum campaign. The likelihood of Britain’s achieving that ‘best possible deal’ with the European Union is expressed by the frustration and irritation of our European partners; by your reliance as a Prime Minister on cabinet colleagues who have proved themselves neither competent for leadership nor worthy of office; by widespread rumours that you are in a state of panic, and a widespread belief that you are mentally ill; and by the three quarters of the UK population who believe that you have failed the UK as a Brexit negotiator.

That you should demand that the British Parliament commit itself by law to an event more than one year away is therefore utterly inappropriate. It demands that democratic representatives cease to be accountable to changing public circumstances or the changing public mood; and it prevents the extension of a Brexit process for the conclusion of which we are likely to be woefully ill-prepared, due in large part to your previous incompetence. Since the Fixed Term Parliaments Act of 2011 did not prevent you from holding the general election earlier this year, in which you lost your majority, this latest demand for legislation restricting the power of Parliament also seems deeply mendacious. You may indeed have the power, if indeed it is a power, to accede to the wishes of the minority faction of the UK public which now controls your party, to subvert Parliament, and to lie to your people. That you should demand my moral support for doing so is beneath contempt.

Yours sincerely

Dr Rob Mimpriss
B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Member, the Welsh Academy

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I am the author of three short story collections. Reasoning and For His Warriors, originally published by Gwasg y Bwthyn, Caernarfon, with Welsh Books Council support, now join Prayer at the End in revised editions at Cockatrice Books. My anthology of fiction, Dangerous Asylums: Stories from Denbigh Mental Hospital Told by Leading Welsh Writers, including work by Gee and David Williams, Glenda Beagan, Carys Bray, Simon Thirsk and others, was published by the North Wales Mental Health Research Project, October 2016.

I am the translator of Going South: The Stories of Richard Hughes Williams (Cockatrice, 2015), Hallowe’en in the Cwm: The Stories of Glasynys (Cockatrice, 2017), and A Book of Three Birds, the seventeenth-century classic by Morgan Llwyd (Cockatrice, 2017). In addition, I have translated fiction by D. Gwenallt Jones, Angharad Tomos, and Manon Steffan Ros.