Emma Lewell-Buck: Brexit not the only issue of concern

I hope everyone has had a very Merry Christmas and will have a peaceful New Year.

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 10:15 am
Updated Thursday, 28th December 2017, 10:20 am
MPs return their result in the House of Commons, London, where the Government suffered its first defeat over the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Politically, this year has been full of twists and turns.

In February, I - along with the majority of MPs in the House - voted to Trigger Article 50, taking the first legislative step towards our exit from the European Union.

It has since become glaringly apparent that the Government is simply not up to the task, with the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU misleading the House on numerous occasions regarding the Government’s preparedness for exit.

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In June, the country went to the polls again after the Prime Minister called a General Election, confident that this would strengthen her hand in the forthcoming negotiations with the European Union.

It didn’t. Instead, she lost a number of MPs and she has severely weakened her position. As Cameron did before her, she took a gamble and we are all paying the price.

But that is the typical Tory way because it really doesn’t matter to them how many chances they take on our futures because their privilege and wealth will protect them from any negative consequences of the decisions they make.

The Prime Minister – greatly weakened to hold onto power – then entered a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, paying them £1billion of our finances to ensure their support for her not-so-strong and stable Government.

The perilous state of this deal had a light shone on it recently when the Prime Minister was unable to continue EU negotiations because she and her Cabinet underestimated the strength of feeling that the prospect of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland elicited.

The Government was then marked with a series of high profile resignations, not only from those who hold office, but also from the civil service.

We are left with an inept Cabinet, a party racked with division and a Prime Minister who is straining under the pressure.

As the Government limps on, Parliament and the Westminster ‘bubble’ remain obsessed with Brexit.

I am acutely aware that whilst Brexit is vitally important it is by far not the only issue that should concern us and nor is it the only issue that concerns my constituents.

That is why after having the honour of being re-elected as your MP, I have continued throughout this year to raise a multitude of issues on your behalf in Parliament.

As you read this and we leave 2017, please spare a thought for those who are lonely, those who are hungry, those living on the streets, those embroiled in ongoing civil wars, those displaced from their homes and those who have suffered unimaginable loss.

I know I for one will be entering 2018 with an even stronger resolve than last year to do all I can in and outside of Parliament to make a positive difference.