The Prime Minister's Announcement

The present Parliamentary session has been the longest since the seventeenth century and has been consumed by the Brexit debate. It is not unreasonable, and certainly not unconstitutional, for the Prime Minister to bring this session to an end and to allow the Government to bring forward its new legislative agenda in a Queen’s Speech. Although the issue of our leaving the European Union has dominated the political and news agendas in recent years, it is right that we set out our domestic priorities in advance of our departure from the European Union such as funding for the NHS, education and the police, and to do so, a Queen’s Speech is required.

The prorogation of Parliament which was announced yesterday will lead to the House of Commons sitting for only three fewer days than was scheduled. The Conference recess takes place at this time every year and this year and will now start three days earlier. Parliament has been debating the Brexit issue for the past three years and it is wrong for people to claim that the loss of these three days is somehow an affront to democracy.

Sadly, some people who do not respect the outcome of the 2016 referendum and express concerns about leaving without a deal have made clear their intention to force a second referendum or reverse the decision of the British people altogether. This is certainly in no way my own position. We must respect the result of the referendum and leave the European Union. Through my work on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee and from speaking with businesses in Rugby I have always been consistent that our leaving the European Union should be accompanied by a comprehensive deal with our European partners. Many local businesses have expressed their concerns to me regarding the Just-in-Time supply chains and the need for continued access to European markets. A deal will protect businesses, jobs and livelihoods in our town.

The task facing the new Prime Minister is now to secure a deal from the European Union which Parliament will be able to support. Since taking office the Prime Minister has sent a clear message to the European Union that we will be leaving on the 31st October. My expectation is that EU leaders will appreciate the seriousness of that message and return to the negotiating table with a positive response which enables us to leave with a deal.

I remain absolutely committed to the people and businesses of Rugby. I will continue to do what I can to protect jobs and livelihoods and as such fully support the Prime Minister in his efforts to secure an exit deal from the European Union which Parliament can accept and which respects the result of the referendum. What is clear is that the present state of political paralysis must end.