Welcome to my weekly column for Tamworth Informed
Many of you will have seen the news on Facebook, in the paper or on TV about the current Brexit position. As it stands, the Prime Minister visited Berlin, Paris and finally Brussels to request a further extension to the exit date. I have always voted against extending our exit from the EU, and I wanted to leave on March 29th.
We must leave the EU, and I was encouraged to see the Prime Minister reiterated that point throughout the discussions she had with World leaders.
Currently, it looks like a Halloween Brexit will be the new deadline, with October 31st as the final extension. However, if a deal is signed off by Parliament before this date then we can leave quicker. Talks are still ongoing as to what the deal will look like, and I will keep readers updated as soon as I know.
However, I wanted to keep mentioning non-Brexit news, as it struggles to see the light in the media. On Wednesday the Secretary of State for Defence held a debate on our continuous at sea deterrent. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of there always being a Royal Navy Ballistic Missile Submarine at sea, providing the nation’s deterrent and ensuring the United Kingdom remains safe.
The Government remains committed to retaining the continuous at sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our safety, as long as the global security situation makes that necessary. The Dreadnought submarines are set to replace the Vanguard Class in the 2030s and will have a lifespan of at least 30 years.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the hundreds of brave submariners who have ensured the continuation of our nuclear deterrent over the last 50 years and to ultimately the safety of the United Kingdom. Our nuclear deterrent is the ultimate guarantee of our security in the current threat environment and in face of increasing Russian aggression, which continues to undermine Euro-Atlantic security and the rules-based international order, our nuclear deterrent is more important than ever.
More non-Brexit news too, this week the Department for Education announced the first 12 Institutes of Technology. These new centres, backed by £170 million of Government investment, will equip young people with the skills they need to build well paid, rewarding careers.
University is not for everyone, and on my school visits, many students have said they feel pushed to go to University. 2 of these centres will be built in the West Midlands and will provide a technical education linking with Universities and industry leaders such as Nissan, Siemens and Microsoft. Investing 2 of these centres in the West Midlands will open doors for our younger people, and I will push for more to be built here if the demand wants it.
A final piece of news, to finish off the week – Finn’s Law. I met police dog Finn a few weeks back when the bill to protect service animals was being debated in the House of Commons. I am very pleased to say that this week the House of Lords approved it and the Queen approved the law this week. Excellent news for Finn, service dogs and animal lovers!
This week the House of Commons is not sitting, this means MPs return to their constituencies and can catch up on constituency matters. I know my diary has seen a lot of changes due to Brexit, and so I am looking forward to meeting residents and groups that I should have seen a little earlier.
I am also hoping to hand over a cheque of £125 to St Giles Hospice, as part of a charity bet I placed for the Grand National. Sadly ‘Walk in the Mill’ didn’t take the No 1 spot, however having put it on as an each-way bet, we have managed to make a little bit of money for a great cause. I hope your workplace sweepstakes saw many successes too!
As ever, if you see me out and about do not hesitate to stop for a chat – does not have to be about Brexit!