12:23, August 29 189 0 theguardian.com

2018-08-29 12:23:04
Shirley Williams: Fear of Trump must see us reject Brexit

Since the election in November 2016 of Donald Trump the US has slipped backwards in terms of democratic practice. Its fearless media have been savagely punished for speaking out. More and more news material is tailored to appeal to particular factions or political ideologies. The supreme court, admired worldwide for the objectivity of its judgments, has yielded to pressure from powerful political interests, as in the Citizens United case, to allow large donations of money to influence election results. The sorry story of Russian intervention in the recent presidential election is still being investigated but remains unresolved.

In western Europe, almost all of it now composed of countries that have eschewed dictatorship, almost all of them signatories of the Copenhagen principles of respect for human rights and open government and see them as essential requirements for membership of the EU. A brief study of President Trump’s policies on migration, human rights, criminal justice and taxation does not suggest they are compatible with the union we belong to, and that now some of us are preparing to leave. Democracy is too precious to sacrifice. It is time now to reject Brexit, and return to the values and vision of our parliamentary democracy and give it the final decision.

Shirley Williams

Little Hadham, Hertfordshire

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