Hello and welcome to my weekly View from the House for Tamworth Informed.
I hope you all had a restful and happy Christmas! I spent my time at home with family and friends, trying to avoid the two B’s, Brussel’s Sprouts, and talk of Brexit. Now that we’re back from the recess Parliament must be prepared to tackle the Brexit issue once more and do what is right for the country.
But to begin with my first task was to try to stick to my New Year Resolutions 1) A dry January and 2) a 30-minute walk every day. Westminster can be a claustrophobic place with a lot of very similar people talking about the same things – so to escape the village and stroll the streets for a half hour during my lunch break is important. I’ve so far been able to get out each day this week and I’d recommend you have a go yourself, if only for the fresh air.
MPs from all over returned to Westminster on 7th January and there’s been a buzz in the air as we get back to work for the New Year.
On Monday, the Government announced the Long Term Plan for the National Health Service, ensuring an up to date service. By aiming to prevent illness rather than simply aim to care for it, the NHS is able to save money and look after those that need it most. A healthy nation is a happier nation and I am proud to be a part of the Government that is delivering a more sustainable National Health Service that will endure for generations to come.
It’s been obvious this last week that even over Christmas, every MP has been mulling over Brexit. Mulling over what it means for the future of the country.
I too have been focused on what is best for the country and, in particular, the citizens of Tamworth. My views have not changed – we must leave the EU in a clear and orderly fashion. We must take back control of our laws, our borders and our money. And we must protect our long term economic security. The best way to do that is through a sensible set of agreements with the EU. And that is why I support what the Prime Minister has been doing. On Wednesday this week, we started 5 days of debate which will culminate in the all-important vote we have been anticipating. I am confident that, in the end, a deal will be passed. Some still believe that by voting down this deal we can somehow derail Brexit and end up staying in the EU. I cannot support that. We are a democratic country. We spent months debating whether we should leave. We chose Brexit and leave we must.
In addition to Brexit, we’ve voted on the Finance Bill this week, the official synopsis of which is ‘A Bill to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the national debt and the public revenue, and to make further provision in connection with finance’.
Despite the fairly dull name of the actual document itself what happened was very telling of the intent of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.
Effectively, Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs to vote to restrict the Treasury’s powers to prepare for leaving the European Union without a deal in March. Not only intent on voting down the United Kingdom’s deal from being put into practice, he is now trying to stop vital preparations being made in case we do leave without a deal. The double standard is breathtaking – and he is toying with the British public. He pretends to honour the decision of the referendum whilst simultaneously behaving in a way that makes a sensible deal, that leavers and remainers alike can support, more difficult.
Any responsible Government needs to plan for all eventualities, but by voting to prevent such important preparations in the first place, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is playing political games.
But back in Tamworth, this weekend and next will find me out and about, doing my regular constituency surgeries, and tackling local issues and picking up my new glasses after my New Year eye test.
And so we beat on against the current, the five days of debate have begun and we look to an important vote on Tuesday coming. Let’s see what Parliament decides and let’s hope that the weather holds!
As always, have a great weekend.