Mercury Column – November 2016

Brexit means Brexit! What on earth does that mean? That’s a fair question I have been asked numerous times over the summer. It is intended to convey that a clear and democratic decision had been made by the British people and this Government will implement that decision.

We have been clear that despite some politicians refusing to accept the result, there would be no second referendum. We were clear that the machinery of Government would change, to start work on the exit negotiations. That is why a new department for Exiting the European Union was created. Even more importantly, we started work on putting Britain in a new strong position to trade with our global partners outside the constraints of the EU.

And now Theresa May has made it clear that there will be a determination to get the right deal for Britain, we will not adopt the “Norway” model or the so-called “Switzerland” model, where you remain outside the EU but have to contribute financially to gain access, we will work to negotiates bespoke agreement for our country. We will decide how we as a country want to control immigration, not bureaucrats in Brussels. For those who are impatient for change, the Prime Minister has also set out the timetable for the Government to trigger Article 50, the legal device that signals the start of final negotiations to leave. This will be triggered by the end of next March, giving us the opportunity to develop and finalise our negotiating position, so that we are in the strongest position to protect our national interests. 

Our approach is summed up by the words the Prime Minister, used in a speech to our Party Conference, “Our laws will be made not in Brussels but in Westminster. The judges interpreting those laws will sit not in Luxembourg but in courts in this country. The authority of EU law in Britain will end.”

November is always a month to remember those who have given so much. We can choose our role in Europe today because so many gave their lives in two World Wars and we owe them our freedom, our respect and our thanks. We must always remember. Attending the Great Yarmouth parade is a highlight of my year. It is a fitting celebration of the lives of those who gave so much. It is good to see the community come together, as it always does, to recognise and salute our war heroes and all those who serve in our armed forces. This year, as the Minister of State at the Home Office, I will attend the Cenotaph, where Her Majesty the Queen will honour the fallen. Our police and fire services will parade on Whitehall. And I am honoured to be there to represent Great Yarmouth, whilst recognising the amazing everyday work of our serving heroes.