Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Newspaper column 24 December 2019 - Christmas message

As we head towards Christmas this week, I am looking forward to having some time off after a hectic election campaign that was followed immediately by a busy but productive week in Parliament.

Christmas to me is not just about remembering the birth of Jesus Christ but also taking that time to spend with our friends and families to reflect on the year passed and the future.

As always I pay tribute to those who work during the festive, whether those in our armed forces, keeping us safe and protecting our national interests overseas, in our emergency services or in the NHS and care sectors, and those who work in hospitality. Whilst most of us will enjoy a break from work in the coming week let us not forget that there are many for who this is a very busy time of year.

Looking back to last week, the first week back in Parliament following a General Election is always an interesting one. I was pleased to welcome over 100 new Conservative colleagues to Westminster, including neighbouring Truro and Falmouth MP Cherilyn Mackrory, who until recently worked for me in my constituency office in St Austell and as the Cornwall Councillor for St Mewan.

The mood in Parliament last week was tangibly different to how it has been for much of the previous year. There was a sense of positivity about the place after the past two years or more of deadlock and dither. It is great to be part of a Government that has a clear majority and a big mandate to get things done.

I have already been sworn in as MP for St Austell and Newquay for the third time. This is one of the solemn traditions of Parliament which means I can now officially do my duty as a Member and speak in the House of Commons Chamber and, most importantly vote.

On Friday we started the progress of the Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament. This is the first step to ‘Getting Brexit Done’ and will path the way for us to leave the EU at the end of next month. This was clearly the key issue in the General Election, and I am sure the vast majority of people will welcome this decisive step that allows us as a country to move on from the endless debate. It will settle the issue, we will have left and the focus will now move onto our future relationship with the EU and trade deals with other nations.

It certainly is a monumental time to be in Parliament and I am looking forward to getting on with the job in 2020 and beyond.

My office is closed from midday on 23 December, reopening on 6 January, and I will shortly be publishing surgery schedule for the first part of the coming year. Check my website www.stevedouble.org.uk for more details.

May I take this opportunity to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year!