Mercury Column – September 2018

Wow! What a summer we’ve enjoyed this year. It has been fantastic to see the town and seafront crowded with visitors from near and far enjoy everything the area has to offer. Of course, it’s not just Great Yarmouth that benefits from this influx of tourists, it’s equally pleasing to see them enjoying places like Winterton, Hemsby and Hopton too. Whilst they were enjoying strolling along a beach, with ice cream in hand, I can guarantee that most weren’t thinking about politics.

Yet, unusually politics hasn’t been quiet this summer. That’s the Brexit effect as we focus more and more on our departure from the European Union next year. There’s been no let-up in those negotiations and preparations. The Foreign Secretary has undertaken a tour of European capitals setting out the British stance. Dominic Raab the minister responsible for our detailed negotiations with Brussels bureaucrats has intensified the effort to achieve a final deal, saying he’s “stubbornly optimistic that a deal is within our reach.”

And the Prime Minister has made it clear that there will be no second referendum, something those in denial about our exit are so desperate to engineer.

Schools back! And so is Westminster. Whilst Europe will continue to dominate the agenda there’s plenty of other vital issues being addressed by MP’s. This week we’ve discussed new legislation aimed at cutting insurance premiums for motorists by curbing spurious accident injury claims. The Government also fast-tracked a measure to ban “upskirting” a particularly vile voyeuristic offence.

And for those that rent their homes, we’ve considered new rules aimed at cutting the extra costs faced by tenants that can run into hundreds of pounds. It will ban letting fees paid by tenants and cap tenancy deposits to six weeks rent.

Of course, Parliament hasn’t been an entirely European free zone as the House of Lords has discussed the technically sounding Taxation (Cross-Border) Trade Bill – a vital new law allowing us to secure new trade deals across the world.

There’s never been a more interesting, nor exciting time, to be involved in British politics which over the next few months will see more twists, turns and bumps then a rollercoaster at the Pleasure Beach here in Great Yarmouth.