At the time of writing this article late on Monday evening after Brexit votes in the House of Commons, I am disappointed that Parliament has chosen to fundamentally upend the balance between our democratic institutions, and set an unpredictable precedent for the future. It is now unclear how events will unfold.
My position however remains clear. We have had a referendum, and as your Member of Parliament I will continue to respect that result and do all I can to deliver Brexit. I set out my position earlier this month by voting against a Second Referendum and against taking No Deal off the table. At the same time I also voted against extending article 50.
I appreciate and accept that the Prime Minister’s Deal is a compromise and as such may not be what everyone wanted, but I firmly believe it remains the best way to leave in a quick and orderly way. Indeed, by backing this we could be out of the EU in less than 2 months. This is the way to deliver Brexit.
We must now be focussed on ensuring that Parliament does not unnecessarily extend the Brexit process, creating the very uncertainty my constituents and businesses wish to avoid. I do not want to see our country bounced in to a position where we will have to contest the forthcoming European Elections. Let us see how the week unfolds…
Over the years Parliament has been witness to many significant and historic events, providing as it does a stability and continuity to our country and our democracy. One particular symbol of this is of course Big Ben, and the Elizabeth Tower.
For some time, due to the programme of repairs and conservation at Parliament we have been without the familiar background noise of Big Ben to guide our proceedings. Big Ben fell silent in August 2017 and with the exception of national events such as Remembrance Day, it will remain silent until 2021. I was however pleased to see the North Dial unveiled last week, in its original shade of blue, replacing the more familiar black colour scheme. It’s good to see that whilst the Brexit debate continues, Big Ben remains a welcome and reassuring sign of our democracy and our Parliament.
Touching on local matters, since becoming your Member of Parliament I have always campaigned vigorously to protect our precious Greenbelt and open spaces.
I am aware that there is a concern amongst residents in Streetly about the potential of development on the fields alongside Queslett Road East. Whilst there has been no formal planning application submitted to Walsall Council we must remain vigilant to any potential development.
My view remains that we need a ‘Brownfield first’ approach to housing and development and I continue to believe that this is the best approach. I will of course keep residents informed if I become aware of any further information.
This article was first published in the Sutton Observer on 29th March 2019.