Party Conference season is over for 2019 and for those of you who did not have the chance to watch the Prime Minister’s Leader’s speech, I wanted to highlight some of the key announcements made and update you on the latest on Brexit.
A417 Missing Link
I would like to start with some good local news, as a result of pressure from myself and fellow Gloucestershire MPs, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP, has agreed to a public consultation on preferred Route 30 to go ahead between 27 September – 8 November 2019.
Following the consultation, a Development Consent Order (DCO) planning application will be submitted by Highways England.
If this goes to plan, construction could go ahead in late 2021, with a possible 2½ year build plan.
I believe that the design of the option 30 will make this route much safer, reducing accidents and injuries, as well as eliminating the twice daily congestion which will result in lower carbon emissions.
The Cotswold Way National Trail and the Gloucestershire Way will benefit walkers, cyclists and riders, greatly improving the public footpaths. The Green Bridge will create a high-level connection to the National Trail, delivering a new wildlife corridor. A significant number of trees will be planted, to help omit any environmental impacts of the scheme.
I warmly welcome this consultation and hope that it receives a favourable reception so that finally the road can be built.
Have your say by visiting the consultation page below
The Prime Minister has written to the European Commission setting out our proposals for a new deal which will enable Britain to leave the EU in an orderly way, maintaining our strong relationship.
The policy of the government is to leave on 31 October. I have always maintained a strong preference to leave with a deal, but we must leave anyway if no deal can be agreed.
This week the government provided detailed papers including legal texts to the European Commission. It is a reasonable compromise, which takes into account the red lines on all sides and balances five factors:
1. The referendum must be respected. The 2016 ballot paper did not say ‘leave only if a deal can be agreed’. This deal ensures that the whole UK leaves the EU.
2. The integrity of the EU’s Single Market must be respected.
3. The integrity of the United Kingdom must be respected.
4. The peace process and land border in Ireland require the UK and EU to compromise.
5. Any special arrangements in Northern Ireland require democratic consent – it is impossible in a democracy to make permanent international deals that provide no democratic path for people to change how they are governed.
The link below will take you to the full letter written from the Prime Minister to the European Commission.
SIR GEOFFREY CLIFTON-BROWN WELCOMES NORTHERN IRELAND BACKSTOP PROPOSALS AND URGES PM TO SECURE A DEAL TO LEAVE THE EU
Yesterday I spoke in the House to welcome the Prime Minister’s proposals on the Northern Ireland as a significant step towards breaking the deadlock and urge him to negotiate 24 hours a day with every flexibility to get a deal.
I believe that this represents a significant step towards breaking the deadlock, which businesses and the vast majority of the people want to see. Can my right hon. Friend confirm that, in the spirit of goodwill now generated on both sides of the channel, he will negotiate 24 hours a day exhibiting every flexibility to get a deal?
I will strain every sinew, Mr Speaker. In fact, it was only my desire to appear before you and the House today that restrained me from going off to other European capitals and selling this project.
The Queen’s Speech will take place on Monday 14 October, so that the Government can bring forward its domestic agenda and deliver on people’s priorities. I have included below 10 of the priorities I believe are particularly important and I look forward to working with the Government to deliver them:
- School funding commitments, with £2.6bn extra to schools in England next year. Schools in Gloucestershire have suffered for too long under the current funding system, and I have campaigned for many years alongside local Headteachers for the Government to review the funding formula which is not fair on rural schools. For more details visit my website - https://www.cliftonbrown.co.uk/content/school-funding-2
- Launching the largest hospital building programme in a generation, ensuring our hospitals are fit for purpose for both staff and patients on the front line.
- Cracking down on criminals by empowering our police and strengthening sentencing. Tackling county lines drug gangs, allowing Chief Constables to equip more of their officers with Tasers, introducing prevention for theft and burglary, and making sure criminals service more of their sentence in prison.
- Committing to increase the National Living Wage to two thirds of the median by 2024, ending low pay. The National Living Wage is set to be £10.50 in 2024, benefiting over 4 million people with a full-time worker on the National Living Wage seeing an increase in their annual pay of over £4,000.
- Announcing £5 billion for gigabit broadband in the hardest to reach areas, ensuring digital equality for rural communities.
- Confirming plans to improve England’s roads, setting out which projects will be included in the £25 billion second round of the Road Investment Strategy.
- Announcing a £500 million Youth Investment Fund to provide high-quality youth services across the country.
- Announced a range of measures to help us achieve Net Zero by 2050. We will build a fusion power plant, plant a new Great Northumberland Forest of up to a million trees, expand pocket parks, open a Gigafactory to develop batteries for electric vehicles, and ensure new homes are energy efficient.
- Setting out plans to build more homes and help more people onto the housing ladder.
- Announced a new package of measures to protect animals. Consulting on banning keeping primates as pets, hunting trophies and live exports, as well as microchipping for cats.