This continues to be a challenging time at Westminster, as Parliament seeks to find an agreed way forward on how to effect the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.
It is clear from the results of the recent EU elections, and last month’s local elections, that there are strong and widespread frustrations with the EU exit process and the uncertainty about the nature of our future relationship with the EU. These concerns need to be listened and responded to positively.
Theresa May has now stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party. This will provide the opportunity for a new Prime Minister to lead this challenging task. They will need to seek to negotiate a clear way ahead with the EU, as a priority. As well as demonstrating strength and determination in addressing this pressing task, they should also put the spotlight on key domestic priorities, such as our NHS, school funding, and the environment.
As a first step, it will be important to assess the new political landscape in the EU following the elections on 23rd May. A responsible government should then continue to prepare for all possible outcomes from the negotiations that follow, including leaving the EU without a deal. However, I believe the preferred outcome is to secure a negotiated agreement on the terms of our EU exit, which ensures we leave the EU in a way that protects jobs and the economy.
It is vital that we move forward, put the current uncertainty behind us and leave the EU in a smooth and orderly way. I will continue to do all I can in my role as your MP, a Whip and a Minister at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to help facilitate this.
This article featured in the Macclesfield Express dated 12th June 2019