The people of Hastings and Rye voted by 55 per cent to leave the European Union. And I know that residents are concerned about how we leave and when we leave. My view is that we need to leave the European Union – since we gave the people the choice to do this – and we need to do it in a way which works best for families, residents, and businesses here and across the country.
There are certainly different views throughout our area. Recently I was walking down Hastings beach and within half an hour, two separate couples came up to me; the first begging me to stop Brexit, and secondly to speed it up. We just have to acknowledge that people are very committed to different views.
This week has been a busy week on the Brexit debate in Parliament and I am pleased that the Government hopes to have a new withdrawal agreement – which is the mechanism for leaving the EU – within the next two weeks for Parliament to vote on.
I am hopeful that this will be supported by a majority of MPs. I am concerned that if they do not, we will head towards further delay. However, it is good news that the Prime Minister has acknowledged that if we need further delay, the house will have the opportunity to vote on that.
I am mindful of the need for that potential delay, inevitable if the House doesn’t support the Prime Minister’s plan, because of my conversations with businesses in Hastings and Rye. They tell me that although they are reconciled to leaving the European Union, they do not want to do it under “no deal” terms.
To leave without having a deal in place would not be to the advantage of the many businesses (particularly the small to medium size enterprises) which employ so many people in and around our area. I hope that we can get the deal agreed by Parliament by March 12th and then we can proceed.
I am dedicated to getting back to what really matters to the people that I represent. That means improving their quality of life with additional opportunities and with better support for their families. That, above all, is what I was elected to do. That, above all, is what I seek to do throughout my constituency. I hope I can get back to doing much more of that during the coming few months.