The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group in the European Parliament expressed its deep concern at the emergence of a letter from the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, to the leader of the UK Liberal Democrats Vince Cable.
The letter requested that the leader of the Liberal Democrats “take action against the MEP from your party” for voting against the “best interests of the UK and the EU” and for “frustrating Brexit”, following ALDE MEP Catherine Bearder’s decision to vote in favour of the European Parliament’s Brexit resolution, adopted on the October 3.
“At first I thought this letter was a hoax,” said Guy Verhofstadt, the president of the ALDE Group and the European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator. “After discussing this extraordinary letter in a meeting of our Parliamentary group of MEPs, we have agreed that I will raise my concerns officially with the British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, when we next meet.
“It is deeply troubling that a government minister would use his office to infer that a democratically elected politician was acting in a traitorous or unpatriotic manner, by voting in favour of a parliamentary resolution that seeks to provide certainty for both EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, whose existing rights are under threat,” added. “This strikes me as profoundly un-British, coming from a senior minister of a country that has one of the oldest parliamentary democracies in the world.”
In turn, ALDE MEP Catherine Bearder stressed that the Conservative party have resorted to instructing democratically elected opposition politicians how to vote.
“David Davis should focus on securing the cohesion of his own bitterly divided party and doing his job of representing the Conservative government,” she said. “My job is to represent the people who elected me, and not be intimidated or bullied. I will continue to do that along with my Liberal colleagues from across the EU.”