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Westminster Diary 30.01.20

This is a momentous week in our nation’s history. We will leave the European Union at 11pm on Friday, marking the end of a union with our closest European neighbours which began in 1973. For me it will be a moment of sadness and regret, for others I’m sure it will be a time to celebrate. We can all agree it’s a huge step for our country.

However, let’s be clear, leaving the EU today does not mean Brexit will have been ‘done’. Important negotiations will take place over the next year which will determine how close our economic, security and foreign policy ties will be with the EU over the next decades. These will be critical to our economic future, particularly for our area.

The Prime Minister has a choice – to tie us into the orbit of either the EU, the USA, or China, as the three current superpowers in the world. I believe our interests would be best served with a close relationship with the EU, whose values are most like ours and with whom we have developed close trading relationships over many years. The EU is also stable. Johnson’s Brexit project seems determined instead to submit us to the will of Trump’s America. This would unfortunately be a disaster for our community.

The Chancellor last week said that the UK would split from European regulations after Brexit. If this happens, our local automotive sector will be greatly damaged by the introduction of tariffs and additional regulation. Jobs will be lost, and factories moved to European countries. Our local farmers will be sacrificed to secure a trade deal with the USA, and our markets will be flooded with cheap meat produced to poor animal welfare standards.

This is how important the next year will be for our local and national economy. If you are a local business owner or farmer, in particular, I encourage you to get in touch so I can represent your concerns in Parliament.

As ever, I can be contacted by email at ‘matt.western.mp@parliament.uk’ or you can ring my office on?01926 882006.