View From the House Jan 31

I am writing this edition of View From The House whilst still in Westminster.  It is January 31st and along The Mall and all around Parliament Square Union flags are proudly flying on our last day in the EU.  By the time you read this our 47-year membership of the European Union will have come to an end. The decision we made in the largest democratic exercise this country has ever seen has finally been delivered. I voted Leave just like 66% of Tamworth residents, but as we leave the EU, we leave the labels of "Leaver" or "Remainer" behind and move forward as a country together.  Because we are all democrats and we all (well nearly all) accept that a democratic decision must be honoured.  I had the historic duty to be the last ever British Government Minister to attend an EU meeting.  With me we carried the Instrument of Ratification – the document signed by the Prime Minister to cement our exit.

I was clear to our European neighbours that we are leaving the European Union but we are not leaving Europe.  We will remain equal and sovereign partners sharing the same continent, history and values. But we will have taken back control of our borders, our money and our laws.  We will build a new relationship with the EU based on free trade, but we will no longer be their rule takers and we will no longer be bound by their laws.  I am excited at the opportunities we have ahead of us in areas from global trade to bolstering environmental protections. We have teams ready to grasp this opportunity.  They will get out into world, negotiating free trade deals to increase our prosperity and deliver on our Brexit vision.

Brexit aside, this month saw some brilliant news for our schools and pupils with the announcement of the huge boost in education spending. Tamworth schools are set to receive over £52 million, the largest funding boost in a decade. We promised this in the election last year and have laid the legislation down in Parliament to enshrine this into law. This boost will see the average Tamworth secondary school funding move to £5,291 per pupil and primary schools allocated £4,342 per year which is even more than the pledge we made. I am happy to see Tamworth schools attracting more funding than promised, and I hope all can agree this is good news for parents and pupils.

I will report back again next month when I am sure there will be even more news.  And hopefully the weather will be better too!