Hello and welcome to my weekly View from the House for Tamworth Informed, this edition is Brexit heavy!
This week was one of the most important in the timeline of our exit from the EU. Whether you voted for me or not, as your representative in Westminster you have the right to know how I voted. This week I voted in the following way.
I voted for the Prime Minister’s Deal
I voted to keep No Deal on the table
I voted against a 2nd Referendum
I voted against extending Article 50.
On Tuesday the House of Commons was asked to vote on the revised deal from the Prime Minister. Theresa May went to the EU and forced concessions from them that were legally binding. I was disappointed to see some colleagues not vote for it, many of them have campaigned for Brexit for decades and when it is within touching distance, they may have jeopardised it. The polls now show that both Leavers and Remainers want to leave the EU with a deal, and from all your letters, emails, calls and social media posts, it is clear to me you just want us to get on with it.
Wednesday marked another key vote: whether to take No Deal off the table. I voted to keep No Deal on the table, the people of Tamworth and the United Kingdom voted for us to leave the EU and I will vote to ensure that happens, as promised. I want to leave with a deal, but I voted to ensure we have the option to leave on March 29th – even if that is without a deal.
Aside from Brexit, I was delighted to welcome 4 Year 2 students from Glascote Academy as one of the winners of the NFU’s Farmventor competition on the Wednesday. The pupils showed me their winning entry for designing an environment for 100 happy and healthy hens. I was very impressed by how much they had thought through the process and who knows, they could be the scientists of the future.
Thursday was the third day of Brexit votes with two key themes on offer: A second referendum and extending Article 50. I voted against both. A second referendum would simply be throwing the vote back at 17.4 million people and telling them they got it wrong. Later I visited the UNICEF Clean Air for Every Child campaign. I have recently written to schools to encourage them to learn more of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, and to enter the competition run by Cadent. The UNICEF exhibit further showed the effects of a poor environment on the health of children. I am encouraged to see the excellent proposals around environment policy from the Chancellor during the Spring Statement this week, policies that will reduce air pollution and clean up waterways.
Many residents on the County Drive estate in Fazeley will have received a letter from me in regards to the recent spate of car thefts. This week I was in contact with the Chief Inspector in charge on Operation Super Fortress, the plan to catch these culprits, and he informed me that Officers would be knocking on all doors on the estate on Friday and delivering newsletters. Further, I have spoken to Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis and asked how we the Police are tackling crime that comes across the border. The Police have ramped up the Operation and a team from Staffordshire, West Midlands and Warwickshire Police to tackle the problem. The Police only need to be lucky once, the culprits have to be lucky every single time. In the meantime, I would recommend residents follow Police advice to secure your cars and install deterrence devices.
Finally, this week was the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, however with Brexit once again front of stage it was pushed back on the news bulletins. Every Spring the Chancellor gives MPs an update on the health of the economy as well as announcing new measures. This week the Chancellor reported on a resilient economy which is creating jobs and delivering the fastest rate of wage growth in over a decade. The deficit this year is £3 billion lower than last forecast and debt is lower in every year – with lower taxes on families and more being invested in our public services. An extra £100 million was allocated to tackle knife crime and the statement was also hailed as the most environmentally conscious. The big Budget announces are always in Autumn and so this is just an add on to that.
Next week the Prime Minister will put her deal to the House of Commons again, with 10 working days until March 29th, I want to be able to deliver on my promise. We must leave the EU as soon as we can. This is still possible, and to do that we must back the deal.