Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Newspaper column 14 December 2016 - Voting on Article 50

Last week in Parliament saw a historic moment in the House of Commons, when MPs voted for the first time ever, in the light of the referendum result, on the implementation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This is the formal process by which the UK will officially begin its withdrawal from the European Union.

The Government’s amendment to the original motion by the Labour Party called for Article 50 to be invoked no later than 31 March 2017.

This was the very first time MPs have had the opportunity to demonstrate their position with regards to the democratic decision made by the people of the UK. After much speculation and debate, MPs voted by a majority of 372 to support the triggering of Article 50 by the end of March to take the country out of the EU. I was pleased to see support for this motion from across the two main political parties and that subsequently a clear demonstration of Parliamentary support for the democratic decision of the British people from the Referendum on 23 June will be respected.

On a related note it was a shame to see the Liberal Democrats failing to live up to their name and their leader calling for their MPs to vote against this democratic decision. More than half of their MPs voted against it, and the other four, despite being present chose to abstain from voting on this hugely important issue.

As I have previously said, our democratic system is a wonderful thing, something which previous and current generations have fought to preserve. Many people I know who voted Remain in June’s Referendum have accepted the decision and now want to work together to make the best deal possible for our country going forward. It is a pity that some remain insistent on thwarting the outcome, something that I believe is fundamentally against the very basic principles of democracy that we stand on.

We now need to look forward and I will be doing everything I can to ensure the best possible outcome for this country, and Cornwall in particular, over the coming months.

As part of this I was delighted to recently be appointed to the European Scrutiny Committee in Parliament. This gives me the opportunity to look closely at the legislation and directives being passed down by the EU as well as participate in debates on EU related matters.

While we are negotiating our exit from the EU this committee will continue to play a crucial role. Not only in keeping an eye on the EU legislation that continues to come through but also in ensuring as smooth and positive an exit as possible.

I am honoured to have been appointed to this important committee and look forward to continuing to play an active part in Brexit, while speaking up for the interests of Cornwall.

As always, my team and I are here to serve the whole constituency and work hard to make a real difference to the lives of everyone needing support. If there is an issue you would like my assistance on then please contact me on either 01726 829379 or Additionally, I hold regular, appointment only, advice surgeries across the constituency. Dates of these can be found at: