Village Voice – October 2017

My latest column published in the Village Voice newsletter distributed to households in the Belton, Burgh Castle, Fritton and St Olaves areas:


EU withdrawal passes first hurdle

No one said it was ever going to be easy leaving the European Union. Unpicking forty years of complicated and technical regulations drawn up by bureaucrats in Brussels was always going to take enormous effort and a considerable amount of time.

However, the process has passed one significant hurdle. The piece of legislation – the EU Withdrawal Bill – overturning the Act of Parliament that agreed our entry into the EU in 1972 has passed the first stages in the House of Commons on its journey to becoming law. After two days of parliamentary debate, continuing in to the early hours of the morning MPs agreed to move the bill forward to detailed committee stage by 326 votes to 290. This was a demonstration of our Parliament implementing the democratic decision agreed by the British people. Yet Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, along with the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, spent hours arguing that this shouldn’t be the case. Many spoke about staying in the Single Market or the Customs Union (both key European institutions that the referendum result indicated people wanted to leave) or the necessity of another referendum before agreeing to leave. It was a sorry demonstration of an attempt by politicians to ignore British public opinion. Labour saying one thing but then doing another, seeking to undermine democracy and ignore the referendum result.

Last year’s referendum delivered a clear result in Great Yarmouth and as the local Member of Parliament I respect that result and have a duty to make sure it is implemented that’s why in the early hours of a weekday morning I voted to uphold that decision. We must deliver on Brexit and get the best deal for the UK, ensuring a good relationship with our friends and trading partners across Europe.