What if….

So, what if the Supreme Court does not overturn the decision of the High Court in respect of the need for a Parliamentary vote on the serving of Notice pursuant to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty? The government could then table a simple motion something along the lines of ‘This House notes the outcome of the referendum held on 23rd June 2016 on the UK’s membership of the European Union and instructs H M Government to give notice to the European Union pursuant to Article 50 ..’ or something along those lines. It would be a brave MP who did not vote for such a motion they would effectively be saying they did not accept the outcome of the referendum. I think there are many people who do not. The ones who talk about a ‘soft Brexit’ code for saying really we want to negotiate a deal which involves the U.K. Staying in the single market and still being subject to the free movement of people …. oh and we might as well keep paying our contributions because it would be unfair not to. In other words we would to all in tenets and purposes still be members of the EU and the referendum result would have been frustrated.

There may be some MP’s who would vote against such a motion but I still believe there would be no difficulty in it being passed by the House of Commons. Things might be trickier in the House of Lords. Some have already indicated they would vote against such a motion. However the number one concern of most members of the House of Lords is self-preservation and I reckon they will soon work out what would be on the cards if the unelected Lords tried to frustrate the will of the British people and the House of Commons on this issue.

After David Cameron

So after over 10 years as Leader of the Conservative Party and over 6 as Prime Minister David Cameron has accepted that with his failure to convince a majority of people to stay in the European Union the time is now right to hand over to someone else. He had after all clearly said he would not be Prime Minster going into the next general election. I

I have already been asked who I think will be the new Leader and the new Prime Minster. Firstly I think we should see what the full list of potential candidates looks like.Secondly, the bookies favourite is clearly Boris Johnson. Not so long ago the bookies favourite was George Osborne so things can and do change.

What is more important is that the Party gets on with delivering on the manifesto and with delivering on the wishes of the majority of the British people to leave the European Union.

Referendum Day

After all the debate today is decision day. millions of voters will decide whether we will stay in or leave the European Union. If the bookmakers are right Remain are going to win easily. The polls are more divided. We shall all know soon enough. Just as with a local or a general election polling stations are open until 10pm.

EU and Trade

IF the UK leaves the European Union British businesses will continue to trade freely with all the other countries in the EU. That is a simple fact and for all the hours of debate it is a simple truth that is frequently overlooked.

Countries around the World trade with the EU without accepting the supremacy of EU law or having to allow 500 million EU citizens into their country.

Britain is the EU’s largest export market and they £68 billion more in goods to us each year than we do to them.

Over the last decade the EU has become less important anyway for UK exporters as economies in the developing parts of the World grow at a much faster rate than the EU. There is already a free trade zone stretching from Iceland to Turkey. There is no reason to accept that if we leave the EU the UK as the 5th biggest economy in the World will not be able to continue to trade with the rest of Europe as we always have, without tariffs and with the minimum of bureaucracy.

Referendum week

Thank you to all those who attended Bury Parish Church yesterday afternoon to hear the arguments for and against our membership of the European Union. I am not sure if any minds were made up or indeed changed but it was a good opportunity for the issues to be aired. Thanks go to the Rector of Bury Rev. John Findon for arranging and chairing the debate.

It was apparent from some of the questions that some people seem to think if we leave the European Union it would be the end of immigration. What it would mean is that the UK parliament would be in control and we would be able to determine how many extra people we could accommodate.

I note it has been announced that Ken Clarke is to stand down at the next general election after serving half a century in Parliament. He is of course someone who has always made the principled case for our membership of the European Union and whilst obviously I disagree with him over that issue I nevertheless have always got on with him really well. He is great Company and like me he enjoys his cricket and birdwatching. I hope he has a very long and happy retirement after he leaves the Commons.

Church Referendum Debate

There is a chance for anyone who is interested to listen to more arguments for and against us leaving the European Union to hear them this afternoon. Bury Parish Church has arranged a debate between the MP for Bury South who will argue we should stay in the EU and myself. I do not know details of the exact format but it is at the Church or in the Hall at 4 o’clock today although I guess there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Last night I attended a celebration dinner to mark the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen with lots of musical entertainment. An excellent evening which I am sure was enjoyed by all those who went.

Goldilocks and The Three Bears and Immigration

Everyone will recall the fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and that Goldilocks comes across three bowls of porridge, the first she tries is too salty, the second two sweet and the third just right. Getting the balance right is all important.

Getting the balance right with immigration is all important. Yesterday at Prime Minister’s Questions I asked the Prime Minister in which year would we meet our manifesto commitment to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands. Not surprisingly, perhaps he did not give a specific year.

Inside the European Union with its rules about the free movement of people there is nothing we can do to control the level of immigration into the UK. Just as with the porridge in the story of Goldilocks and the three bears it is important to get the amount of immigration just right. Too little and businesses may not be able to get the skilled staff they need. Too much and there is strain put on our housing, NHS and schools.