YOUR Opinion pages recently make for very sobering reading, coming as they did at the end of one of the most bitter and shambolic weeks in our political lifetimes.

We now have a government running scared of Parliament and the people, trying to force through a wildly unpopular Brexit deal that fails to deliver on the promises of the referendum, other than removing our Freedom of Movement rights.

However, if removing those rights is the response to fears about immigration, that too represents a pathological dishonesty with the country about the benefits, not only of immigration per se, but of how Freedom of Movement works.

It supports our services sector, promotes social mobility for our young people and can be controlled already, should our government choose to do so.

Meanwhile, our own MP, Esther McVey, is one of those who rejects May’s deal but has nothing concrete or workable with which to replace it.

We, at Wilmslow for Europe, have asked her to hold a public meeting to explain and justify her position, given that it is our livelihoods and futures that will be so significantly affected by her vote.

To date, she has not responded.

There is no condemnation strong enough now for how the Conservative party is behaving as it runs the clock down on the Article 50 negotiations, embroiled in its own bitter infighting, rather than serving the best interests of the country.

Any politician now angling for a different deal is simply pursuing the impossible while objecting to any evidence of its impossibility and those supporting May’s deal are still refusing to level with the public and explain why the promises of the referendum are simply undeliverable.

We end the year mired in division and facing a very uncertain future.

Brexit casts a long, dark shadow over all of us and our politicians should be permanently ashamed.

Sarah Murphy and Judith Hughes, Wilmslow for Europe