“A week is a long time in politics.” This phrase is so often used that is verges on being a cliché, however, it is difficult to disagree with the sentiment at this time. In the 7 weeks since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, there has been a great deal of activity. It is fair to say that people have differing views on the approach he should take, but it is undeniable that Mr Johnson is providing the country with the decisive leadership that we have lacked over the last couple of years.
The new Government has made its commitment to delivering Brexit by 31st October abundantly clear. Every member of the cabinet has signed up to this pledge as well as keeping the option of no deal on the table. This is essential if we are to prove to the EU that we are serious about leaving, come what may, in order to get the best deal for Britain. I fully support this clear and unambiguous position which contrasts greatly with the indecisive and purposefully vague policy of the Labour Party.
Over the last few weeks we have seen Labour’s position continue to shift more and more to a remain stance. Jeremy Corbyn is now campaigning on the basis that he will negotiate his own Brexit deal and then campaign against it in a referendum when he will recommend the public vote to remain in the EU. He also refuses to keep no deal on the table meaning he will be forced to accept whatever terms the EU dictates. There are also splits in the Party, most notably between Corbyn and his Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, who is arguing for another referendum before any further negotiations take place. Corbyn has tried to pull the wool over voters' eyes by pretending to lead both a remain and leave party. The illusion is shattered. Labour is now an unequivocal remain party.
Last week, remainers conspired to legislate to force the Government to seek another extension up until the end of January 2020. By signing up to Jeremy Corbyn’s Surrender Bill the remainers have tied the Government’s hands and weakened our position in the negotiations.
You may have seen the shameful actions of remainers, particularly on the opposition benches, earlier this week when Parliament was prorogued. In my opinion, the role of the Speaker, John Bercow, in allowing and actively supporting these inappropriate protests, harmed the reputation of the office he holds and the House of Commons as a whole. It was student union politics, unacceptable in Parliament.
Parliament is now prorogued ahead of the Queen’s Speech. We are in the longest running session in modern times. We have a new Prime Minister and it is only natural that he would want to start a new session with his own agenda. Parliament has had three years to discuss Brexit and, when the House returns on 14th October, there will still be 17 days until Brexit and plenty of time for scrutiny.
We still hear talk about ‘crashing out of the EU without a deal’. Since 2016, work has been underway to prepare the country for the potential of a no deal Brexit and this has been greatly accelerated since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister. The Government will ensure that measures are in place to ensure food, medicine and people can flow in and out of the country.
Much excitement has been created from the publication of the so-called ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ report. It must be stressed that this is a worst-case scenario evaluation and not something that the Government foresees being likely to occur. Whilst it gives the Remainers ammunition to continue their campaign to overturn the will of the people, the reality is that planning for all eventualities is the role of a responsible Government. What is important is that the Government has a plan to mitigate against any risks we face.
It is worth remembering that much of the outrage we hear expressed on news channels comes from within the ‘Westminster Bubble’. This bubble is out of touch with the trends of public opinion across the rest of the country. There is no doubt that my constituents like what they hear from Boris Johnson.
It is clear that the only way to resolve the current situation is to hold an early General Election. Unfortunately, the ability to call an election is no longer the gift of the Prime Minister. For the first time ever, not just once but twice, Labour MPs failed to support the Government’s call for an election. Never in history has an opposition effectively voiced its confidence in the Government by voting against an election. It is not difficult to determine why. In contrast to Corbyn’s dither and delay over Brexit and economic policies that will harm our country, Boris Johnson will deliver for Britain.
Under the Conservatives, we will support local communities by recruiting 20,000 extra police officers, providing an extra £20 billion for the NHS and more for our schools and armed forces. We trust the people and will deliver Brexit by 31st October.