Dear Ms Duffield,
We write to you on behalf of Christ Church Students’ Union acting in the best interests of the students of Canterbury Christ Church University and having consulted students in the process of the writing of this letter.
The current situation in Westminster has forced us to take a public stance, and in doing so, we feel compelled to write to you as our local MP with our concerns and recommendations regarding the proroguing of Parliament.
As a students’ union, our charitable aims and objectives are underpinned by democracy and we, as a Union, wholeheartedly believe that democracy is at the core of a successful government. The recent move by Boris Johnson to prorogue parliament is unconstitutional and undemocratic. To prevent the normal operation of our key representative democratic institution, simply because it might result in an unwelcome decision, is dangerous and unprecedented.
Whilst we understand that proroguing is a natural process of Parliament for a short period of time, the move to suspend the institution for five weeks over a crucial period is not the norm and we do not support the decision as a Union.
Furthermore, the future of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit is a precarious situation for our students, specifically the international students and staff we accommodate. In the event of ‘No Deal’, these students will need to apply for a European Temporary Leave to Remain, a transitional visa which will place their studies in jeopardy and see many leaving Canterbury Christ Church once the end to free movement is enforced. This has been promised by both the PM and the Home Secretary, although an exact time scale has not yet been given. Not only is the fear of leaving a reality, the temporary visa means those wishing to study for courses longer than three years, such as medics, linguists and PhD students would have to apply for a Tier 4 visa and face additional costs and uncertainty about their immigration status part way through their studies.
The deal, or lack of, would also have wider reaching implications for the students and University as a whole as students would no longer be able to study or work abroad as part of Erasmus+ as planned in the 2020–21 academic year. This would severely limit study and work opportunities for students to enhance their language skills, employability and intercultural awareness – all vital in a global Britain.
I hope you are able to understand our objections to the current situation and work diligently on our behalf to overturn this decision.
Christ Church Students’ Union