In last week’s paper a number of questions were posed to me by the Chairman of the Wealden Liberal Democrats, to whom I’m pleased to respond.
1) For too long, decisions that affect our farmers in East Sussex have been made far away in Brussels. Those decisions will now be taken closer to home, and I will press the Treasury to make whatever decision is in the best interests of our farmers. As the Parliamentary Representative for the Conservative Rural Affairs Group, I have always stood up for our farmers and I will continue to do as the terms of our exit from the EU are decided upon.
2) I believe in democracy, as I would hope the Chairman of the local Liberal Democrats does too. We do not need to have one, but if there is a vote on our membership of the EU in the Commons I will vote according to the wishes of the voters of Wealden and the UK, who voted to leave the political union in Brussels. Now is the time for responsible government, and the Conservatives under Theresa May are focused on delivering the best deal for the UK, for example by creating new departments focused on the exit process and trade, and by putting together a team of experienced negotiators. Fighting the UK’s corner is a much better path to take than talking our great country and the wishes of its voters down.
3) The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 made provisions for a general election to be held every five years, and it was the then Leader of the Liberal Democrats, as Deputy Prime Minister, who introduced that legislation to Parliament. We are four years away from the next scheduled election, so there is no constitutional need for one before then.
I hope my answers prove to be as illuminating as Mr Whittaker was hoping for.
MP for Wealden