Delivering Brexit and respecting people's votes

It is less than two months until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union – delivering Brexit is now not just about an independent, global future but respecting people’s votes – politicians should not get to decide which ones they honour.

It is also important to look beyond Brexit. As pupils get ready for a new academic year, the independent House of Commons Library has found that 17 Crawley schools stand to benefit from the Prime Minister’s pledge to uplift education funding.

However, in order for the new Government to set out its legislative agenda, a Queen’s Speech needs to take place. For this to happen, Parliament must be prorogued which enables a new session to commence.

The current parliamentary session has lasted more than 340 days and is the longest in almost four centuries. A Queen’s Speech usually takes place once a year, however one has not been made since 2017.

The proposed prorogation largely coincides with a period when Parliament would not expect to sit anyway during the party conference season. It is right the House of Commons continues to debate Brexit; that is occurring this week and will continue following the Queen’s Speech on 14th October.

One sixth of Commons chamber time between June 2016 and March 2019 had been taken up by matters related to Brexit, equivalent to around 500 hours. This is an underestimate, however, as the figure does not include when Brexit had been considered in other routine parliamentary business such as Prime Minister’s Questions, debates in Westminster Hall and select committees.

Our country’s withdrawal from the European Union is more than Brexit on 31st October; it represents trust in our democratic system – ahead of the referendum the Government pledged that its result would be respected. I will continue to put the wellbeing of Crawley people and British interests first.

Henry Smith MP