Henry Smith MP has given his support to the Government’s legislative agenda for the next year in a key House of Commons debate.
The Queen’s Speech was delivered by Her Majesty on Tuesday 11th May and outlines the Government’s legislative plans in the next session of parliament.
Thursday 13th May marked the third day out of six of debate on the Queen’s Speech, with each day allocated a different theme. The Crawley MP chose to contribute on the topic of a bright future for the next generation.
“The pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives and it’s right that the full focus of Government remains on defeating Covid-19 and rolling out vaccines as we build back better.
“The Government was elected on promises to support the NHS, make our streets safer and support jobs and businesses.
“This important work will continue to benefit Crawley over the course of the next year. More support for our NHS, greater backing for the police, and fulfilling the potential of our young people are just some of the issues which local residents regularly contact me about.”
Speaking in the debate; on the NHS, Henry said;
“I start by welcoming the legislation to support our NHS and to make sure that it is the most innovative health service in the world, using the most up-to-date technology.”
On ensuring young people fulfil their potential, Henry said;
“When it comes to the future of education for our young people, and, indeed, for people of all ages, I welcome the announcement of the skills and post-16 Bill in the Queen’s Speech. Just this week, I welcomed the fact that Crawley College, working with the Universities of Sussex and Brighton, had got to the next stage of introducing an institute of technology on its site.”
On crime, Henry said;
“I very much welcome the “building back safer” announcement in the Gracious Speech. As right hon. and hon. Members have mentioned, the worrying rise in knife crime—particularly here in the capital—needs to be addressed, as does the scourge of county lines drug dealing, which is affecting my constituency and many others. I welcome the Government’s commitment to increasing support and resources for law and order so that those issues are tackled, because young people are all too often the victims of criminal behaviour.”
On the environment, Henry said;
“I greatly welcome the announcement of an Environment Bill, as it will secure the UK’s place in the world as a global leader in the new green industrial revolution as we recover from the pandemic in a sustainable way. As Chair of the All-Party Group for the Future of Aviation, I welcome the fact that British airlines last year committed to net zero carbon by 2050, and the Government have committed to the Jet Zero Council to ensure that we are at the forefront of technology to deliver on that.”
On animal exports, Henry said;
“I have campaigned for many years on ending live animal exports for fattening and slaughter. This incredibly cruel practice has been going on for far too long. Now that we have left the European Union and the European single market, it is possible for us to end this cruel trade, and I am delighted that that announcement has been made. This is a two-way process, and the Government need to do more to prevent cruelly produced products from being imported into this country. In the last Parliament, I spoke about the cruel practices involved in foie gras, including the force-feeding of ducks and geese to produce a fatty liver, which some people believe is a delicacy. The importation of that product should be banned, as should the importation of fur.”
On puppy smuggling, Henry said;
“Domestically, I welcome the legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech to ban puppy smuggling. That practice causes great distress and ill health to many animals, and it is a fraud often perpetrated on people who want to provide a loving home to a pet. It is important that that matter is addressed. I welcome the establishment of the pet theft taskforce, which the Government announced the other day. Pet theft is a horrible crime whereby pets who are much-loved members of families are taken, causing great distress. I also welcome the introduction of mandatory microchipping for cats, as is the case with dogs, so that lost pets have a much better chance of being reunited with their owners. This Queen’s Speech represents a solid foundation for future generations, and I commend it to the House.”
Please click here for the full text and video of Henry’s speech.