Open Government

The Prime Minister & her Government should be open & transparent to Parliament & to the British people

Rob Bird's letter to the Kent Messenger published today:

Helen Grant's defence of the High Court judges in last week's Kent Messenger was welcome. In her words, "The importance of an independent judiciary is a vital check and balance in our liberal democracy. Those who seek to undermine it are dangerous."

Mrs Grant cites people who are reinvigorating division and disharmony with misinformation about Brexit. Unfortunately, many of the usual suspects she refers to are her own Conservative colleagues in Westminster. Their cynical attempts to undermine the judiciary and the role of Parliament do themselves and the British people no favours.

The referendum has given the Prime Minister a mandate to take the Brexit process forward, but not to deny our Sovereign Parliament the right to hold the Government to account.

Mrs May is arguing against referring Article 50 to Parliament and has refused to set out her negotiating position. However, I suspect she will soon find out that many of the other 27 EU states will give a running commentary on the negotiations, even if our own Government won't.

The Prime Minister and her Government should be open and transparent to Parliament and to the British people. This is a fundamental principle of our democratic process. The day that ends will be a very dark day indeed.

Rob Bird is Kent County Councillor for Maidstone Central and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group

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