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Welcome to my latest newsletter to keep you updated on my work in Parliament and around Amber Valley.
This is a special edition of my newsletter to provide you with an update on Brexit, the Government’s policy, and my views. I want to your thoughts too though, on national and local issues, so there’s also a link below to my online Summer Survey. Please do take just a few minutes to fill this in and let me know your priorities.
There are also details about a coach trip to Parliament I’m organising, as well as the usual information about my upcoming surgeries and how to get in touch.
I’m launching a residents’ survey for you to let me know your thoughts on local and national issues such as housing and Brexit priorities and negotiations.
Please take just a few minutes to complete the survey, available here.
Over the past couple of weeks there have been several important developments on the Government’s policy on delivering Brexit, including:
- The cabinet agreement at Chequers – see briefing slides here;
- The Government’s white paper on our future relationship with the EU – see here;
- The Government’s white paper on implementing the draft withdrawal agreement with the EU – see here;
As some of you may have heard on BBC Radio Derby after the Chequers Agreement, I am very concerned that what the Prime Minister has offered to the EU is not consistent with either what she promised in our manifesto at the election last year nor what those who voted to leave expected to be outcome – and around 66% of the people of Amber Valley who voted did vote leave.
As I said during the Referendum campaign, I see 4 main reasons for choosing to Leave the EU;
- Regaining control of our laws giving the people of the UK again the full democratic ability to change their Government and actually change policy;
- Regaining control of our borders so we can choose who can come here and with what requirements;
- Ending our vast annual contribution to the EU budget (forecast at £12.2 billion for 2019-20 – see here)
- Giving us the freedom to run our economy and conclude trade deals in our own interests.
These form my basis for assessing proposals put forward by the Government. I have always expected that there would need to be some compromises to deliver Brexit in an orderly manner and achieve a strong relationship on trade, security and other matters with our nearest neighbours. Indeed free trade deals always involve such compromises. I accepted the importance of providing certainty to businesses that trade extensively with other EU countries, as many in Amber Valley do, to avoid unnecessary costs and potential losses. I therefore was willing to accept the transition period, even with a £40 billion bill, if it meant we delivered a real Brexit with minimum disruption. I was content with the proposed future partnership based on a free trade deal similar to the one the EU has with Canada, with both us and the EU on a mutual basis recognising each other’s regulatory approaches and standards as meeting the common objectives. In many cases we would have willingly followed the EU or other international standard setters’ rules unless, exceptionally, there did not meet our needs. In my view this approach, with a modern, technology based approach to customs and border enforcement would have achieved real Brexit with a very close trading relationship.
The negotiation position agreed at Chequers however goes much further than this – effectively agreeing to accept all the EU’s future regulations in areas that relate to goods without any scope to vary or reject them without restarting the whole negotiation on Brexit again. This will mean the UK parliament having to pass new rules, set by the EU, without any influence on their drafting. This is not taking back control any may give us even less influence over the rules than we have now. And this is only a starting point for negotiation – on other areas of regulation like environmental or employment rules we’re proposing a guarantee that we won’t weaken the standards at any point in the future. The White Paper on the withdrawal agreement goes further and will mean that all new EU regulations between our exit date in March 2019 and December 2020 will apply automatically in the UK without any UK elected parliamentarian having a vote. The proposed customs arrangement looks fiendishly complex, will not be ready even by the end of the transition phase, and in my view won’t ever be fully effective.
There is no sign that the EU will accept this approach and I fear they will try to insist on us staying in the full single market and the customs union – including accepting free movement and paying our full annual contributions. If that’s the case, we won’t really have left at all. We now see ridiculous threats about our planes being unable to fly over Ireland (which would put Ireland in a similar position to Syria, Libya and Yemen). This is no way 2 friendly partners to maintain a constructive relationship using the EU’s own process to deliver a democratic decision of the British people.
It is not too late to negotiate a sensible deal to be agreed that delivers a real Brexit, maintains a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the EU and leaves the UK free to run our own affairs in future and I will keep doing all I can to ensure this is achieved.
Coach Trip to Parliament:
Many local people have expressed an interest in visiting Parliament in order to gain a better understanding of how our democracy works and to see inside this wonderful historical building. Many were not aware of how to arrange a visit or are, understandably, put off by the cost of travel.
To make a visit as convenient and as accessible as possible for you, I am arranging a special coach trip for Amber Valley residents in December 2018. A coach will be provided to Westminster from Ripley and charged at a cost of around £15 per person. I will personally welcome you to Westminster upon arrival and you will have the opportunity to ask me any questions you may have on local or national issues. You will also be taken on a tour of the Palace of Westminster by a professional tour guide and then have a few hours for lunch, shopping or to go and see some of the other local attractions.
We’re finalising the details of the trip, and availability will be on a first come first served basis – booking forms will be sent out to people who have expressed an interest in the trip in the next few weeks. If you haven’t already contacted us to say you’d like to come but are interested in joining the trip and would like to be kept updated, please get in touch with my office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ringing 01773 744341.
GDPR and privacy notice:
As always, if there are any street repairs in your area, such as potholes, pavement repairs or broken street lights, you can report these issues and concerns to me quickly and easily here so I can ask for the repairs to be investigated and addressed.
I regularly hold surgeries to give you the opportunity to meet with me and discuss any concerns or problems you may have. These are held on Friday evenings between 5pm and 7pm.
If you would like to meet me and discuss any issues, the dates of my upcoming surgeries are:
- Heage – 7th September 2018
- Holbrook – 21st September 2018
- Alfreton – 28th September 2018
Please contact my office on 01773 744341 to book an appointment for any of the above, or to arrange an alternative meeting.
Tours and Public Gallery Tickets
As your MP, I am able to book tours of the Houses of Parliament and arrange public gallery tickets for constituents. If you would be interested in having a tour of Parliament or arranging public gallery tickets to sit in on the business of the House or Prime Minister’s Questions, please do get in touch.
Get in Touch!
As always, you can contact me by hitting the ‘reply’ button on this email, or you can ring my office on 01773 744341.
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Promoted by Nigel Mills MP, of Unicorn House, Wellington Street, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3EH.
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