Summer break amid Brexit concerns

After returning from holiday early to Whaley Bridge last week, I’ve brought my children away to visit family and recharge my batteries.  Summer is the only time that MPs can plan a break, and the next session of Parliament will be intense.

But in this job you can never switch off completely, especially with so much going on both locally and in national politics.

It’s very worrying that the new Prime Minister seems far more concerned with preparing to leave the EU without a deal, than any attempt at improving the existing deal.

I meet many companies across High Peak, and all are concerned about the impact of ‘No Deal’ on local jobs and investment.

The more high tech the company, the more worried they are.  I met a company in Buxton last week which employs hundreds of local people, mostly in well-paid technical work.

They set out for me how leaving the EU without a deal would mean that many jobs would have to be relocated to the EU.

Brexit has meant they’ve already had to start to do that – as have many other local companies – but leaving without a deal would be catastrophic for many local companies because not only Europe, but much of the rest of the world use EU standards and regulations.

Leaving the EU with no commitment to adopt those standards going forward means UK  companies are unable to bid for contracts in their existing markets, so they’re gradually having to move.

If we do a deal with the USA, it means adopting their standards, as Donald Trump made clear.  Our companies would then be competing with American companies which are already established.  There are no guarantees of success, and jobs will be lost.

We can’t afford to lose good jobs from High Peak, or anywhere in the UK. It would make our country poorer and give us less money for our hard-pressed public services and tackling poverty.

However many billions the Prime Minister spends to try and smooth the initial disruption, leaving without a deal would mean higher prices, fewer jobs, and less money for public services- not what anyone voted for.

So even while taking a break, I’m making clear that I’ll work with politicians from any party to prevent it happening without a vote of the people to confirm that’s what the majority want.

Leaving without a deal would have serious consequences and to threaten to force it upon us, without approval from either Parliament or the people, is neither sensible nor democratic.

As a country I like to think we’ve always tried to be both sensible and democratic and I’ll be seeking to uphold those traditions in the difficult weeks ahead.

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