On Saturday I was in the House of Commons ready to do what I have sought to do for over three years, and what Crawley residents have continually asked of me: to get Brexit done.
The Benn Act (known as the Surrender Act) was passed last month because opposition MPs, as well as many commentators, said that the Prime Minister could not negotiate a new agreement with the EU, and that an extension should be sought.
We were told a deal simply could not be done. We were told legislation was needed in the event the UK and EU could not secure a deal.
Last week, Boris Johnson announced that there was indeed a deal, and if Parliament would back it, it would essentially render the Benn Act as irrelevant. However, this was still not enough for those in the Labour Party whose real aim is to overturn the Brexit result which the people of Crawley voted for.
On Saturday the Commons chose not to give its backing to the Prime Minister and the deal he negotiated with the EU. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour voted for more delay, more dithering, and more duplicity.
In contrast I joined Boris Johnson in the division lobbies against Oliver Letwin’s amendment which sought to wreck the progress which had been achieved.
Shortly before the vote the European Parliament’s Brexit Co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, stated that it was “high time for a European Army”. Can this really be the sort of integration that opponents of Brexit are supporting? Or are they simply telling us to remain in the EU without realising the direction it is heading?
I am well aware that Crawley residents want Brexit done and move on to domestic priorities.
As part of the Prime Minister’s pledge to recruit 20,000 more police officers in the next three years, it has been confirmed that Sussex Police are aiming to take on over 120 new officers in the first year alone. Funding for schools in West Sussex is also going up by more than 5.6 per cent, with Crawley’s figure up to £82.8 million next year.
Henry Smith MP