Mercury Column - October 2018

More than ever, the annual party conference season has proven important and relevant to the
future of our country. After two decades, of mainstream political parties all occupying nothing but
the centre ground we’ve seen two very different visions for the future of the United Kingdom.
In Liverpool, Jeremy Corbyn and his band of extreme left followers set out an agenda that was firmly
rooted in the 1970s and that left Britain broken. Indeed, they seemed proudest when trying to out
do each other with their own brand of hard-Socialism. One Shadow Minister suggested that a time
when Labour councillors set illegal budgets and were effectively bankrupting their councils there
was something to celebrate.

Then to top it all, it became quite clear that the Labour Party was moving towards a second referendum on Brexit. Some try and wrap this crazy idea up as a “People’s Vote”. What nonsense!
We had a genuine “People’s Vote” in 2016 when the British people, including those living in Great
Yarmouth, made it quite clear they wished to leave the European Union. Many in Great Yarmouth,
like me, will be dismayed by this total disregard for the views of the majority.

In stark contrast, Theresa May alongside my government colleagues, are focussed on delivering the
Brexit deal demanded by the referendum result. Our conference looked beyond Brexit, so that we
make the most of the opportunities of leaving the European Union, once we’ve regained control of
our money, our borders and our laws. The Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke about a “Deal
Dividend” that will provide a boost to the British economy with an increase in economic growth. He
promised that this would be used to boost public spending, lower taxes, enhance our infrastructure
and reduce the deficit. It means we can look to the future with confidence and tackle the injustices
that hold too many people back - things like homelessness, discrimination and the growing problem
of mental health.

They are two different visions for our future. Only one delivers Brexit and provides new
opportunities for everyone.