Making Peace with Europe – and ourselves

I attended many very moving events across High Peak to celebrate the centenary of Armistice Day. I was touched by the thoughtfulness and hard work that was put in to honour the memories of local men whose lives were taken by war.

From the exhibition of photos and information about each of the 34 fallen soldiers from Tintwistle, to the service at Buxton’s Sparrow Park and in Buxworth to re-commemorate the Memorial Club. The beautiful displays at every war memorial, and the very moving centenary concert by Chapel Male Voice Choir which was set up by returning soldiers.

It was wonderful that all our communities came together in the largest Remembrance Day turnout that many veterans could remember. I think High Peak did them proud.

We also need to try and come together in a similar spirit of hope in Parliament where there will be lots of key decisions in the next few weeks.  I want to make sure that I listen to constituents from across the spectrum of views on Brexit and am as open and transparent as I can be in what is likely to be a rapidly-changing situation.

Throughout the whole process of Brexit, I have said I want the best outcome for the UK and for High Peak.  That means for our economy and for jobs, but also to try and bring together the very divergent views that are splitting our society.

That’s a pretty tall order. I think the only thing we can guarantee about Brexit is that no one will be happy with the outcome because so much compromise will be involved.

I will weigh up whether or not to vote for the deal that is agreed based on the views of local people and businesses.  If no deal can be achieved that can be supported by Parliament, it would not be right to leave the EU, as the implications for the UK would be very different from the situation portrayed at the time of the referendum.

So I’m again seeking the views of my constituents.  Earlier this year I did a survey of local views on the possible outcomes of our deal with the EU.  Now the situation has moved on considerably I am running another survey asking what you want to see in our deal with the EU and how the decision should be made.  I hope lots of constituents will again take part.

I am also holding a Business Summit on 23rd November to discuss the options with local businesses, and public meetings on 23rd and 24th November in Buxton and Glossop.

I hope these events and the survey will give as many people as possible the chance to give me their views and discuss the options before us. I will do my best to make decisions in the light of those views.