Comments from Anna Soubry MP – 9 August 2019

Hello again,
I will be away on holiday for two weeks tomorrow. The constituency office is open as usual and I will be in regular contact with the team (and my inbox). 
I have done an unusually long item on the current political situation which I hope you will read. 
Whatever your plans, have a great weekend.
As ever, Anna 

Bramcote Ridge

Plans are well in place for land known as the Bramcote Ridge. This large area of wooded land has been privately owned for many years and includes the Sandy Lane Nature Reserve. The land has now been bought by a local person who is seeking planning permission to build nine houses on the land within the City Council boundary and two in Broxtowe. In return, on the completion of the sale of the houses the land will be placed in a charitable trust and made fully accessible to everyone. The plans can be viewed in full here. I welcome all comments and for what it is worth, subject to being absolutely sure the land will effectively be transferred in to public ownership, I see little to object to.

First class Toton and Chilwell Neighbourhood Plan

The Chetwynd Toton and Chilwell Neighbourhood Forum have published their neighbourhood plan and I met the chair Richard Hutchinson to find out more (click the picture above to see the video). The plan is first class and has been created by residents for residents, led by Richard and his excellent team of volunteers. The document is out for consultation and I urge everyone to take part.
To view the plan in full, visit the forum’s website by clicking here.
The consultation will close on 20th September 2019.

HS2: Stapleford and Trowell residents

Following my meeting with Stapleford’s Borough Councillors and Town Council Chair, I have written to HS2 on a number of issues most notably compensation for residents affected by the proposed rout. You can read my letter here

I have also written to HS2 on behalf of residents in Trowell whose homes are set to be demolished to make way for HS2. Please contact me for a copy of the letter. 

I have also written to leaders of all the political groups on both the Borough and County Councils asking them to continue supporting HS2 and additionally my campaign for a bored tunnel to deliver the route in Broxtowe. 

Kimberley Town Council catch up

I had a very good meeting with members of Kimberley Town Council yesterday evening and my thanks to everyone who attended.  Chair, Trevor Rood, raised a number of matters which I have already taken up on behalf of the Council. Improving the No 27 bus service, resolving the legal status of the Stag ground and making sure the Council has full access to grants were just some of the topics. I was concerned that the Town Council “reluctantly” agreed to plans for the Christmas light switch on. I firmly believe these important community events must be organised with the consent of residents through their elected representatives. Broxtowe Borough Council’s involvement is through a company called ‘lleisure’ set up by the previous Conservative administration. It is vital that Councillors not officials take decisions about the spending of tax payers money and I have written to the relevant people at the Borough Council to see how we can ensure all of our Councils work together.

Forever Stars “Pink and Blue” charity ball

Forever Stars, a fantastic local charity which campaigns for families affected by baby loss, is holding a “Pink & Blue” Charity Ball on 11th October at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel. If you would like to support a wonderful cause and also enjoy a great evening you can book tickets by clicking here.

Summer holiday reading

I strongly suspect even those people not on holiday have taken a break from this week’s news. I am not alone at having been confused at times by the various Brexit machinations in the public domain, from talk of ousting the PM and putting Corbyn in a taxi and sending him off to see the Queen, to comments from the PM’s strangest of unelected advisers (Dominic Cummings) that we will crash out of the EU with no recourse to Parliament. There is speculation there will be a General Election in which we will leave the EU without a deal during the campaign and before polling day and as an alternative feverish debate about a Government of National Unity (something I argued for some considerable time ago). 

It’s all a dreadful and unnecessary mess. I continue to take the view the only way out is to take this matter back to the electorate by way of a People’s Vote. 

In all the endless discussion of constitutional minutiae, the lives and jobs of ordinary folk are in danger of being forgotten. The views of British business are ignored, the falling value of the pound waved away as an irrelevance and today’s GDP figures, which show our economy is shrinking, are dismissed as a blip!

Boris Johnson is playing a dangerous game and he is not being honest with people. 

Let’s not forget he was Foreign Secretary when the Government agreed to the foundations of the Irish backstop at the end of 2017 and he voted for it when he finally voted for Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement. Michael Gove, the new Minister for Brexit, described the former PM’s agreement in January as “the best possible deal for the British people”. This week he said “we’ve been absolutely clear we need to change (it)”. 

The duplicity will not be lost on you. 

Boris Johnson has said he will not negotiate with the EU unless, as a pre-condition, they drop the Irish back stop. Hardly a grown up and responsible way to make sure we don’t crash out without a deal; Mrs May set down “red lines” and look where that got us. 

Johnson and Gove know well that the EU will not agree to such a pre-condition and Mr Gove’s phoney sadness and surprise at the EU’s position should not fool anyone. 

Their strategy is clear; make out the EU are the ‘bad boys of Brexit’ so we crash out without a deal at the end of October. What they haven’t said is how given that Parliament has repeatedly voted against no deal. 

I believe it’s very important to appreciate how serious the threat is to our Parliamentary democracy. Like all MPs, I am elected to represent all my constituents and act in theirs and the country’s best interests. None of us are delegates of a narrow political party or ideological sect. And as I’ve observed before, I’m willing to lose my job as your MP rather than stand by and watch constituents lose theirs as a result of Brexit. The Prime Minister enjoys his position as a result of the votes of little over 90,000 members of the Conservative Party. There is no mandate for no deal and MPs as the elected representatives of all the people must be fully involved in determining the future of our country and the prospects of all our constituents, especially our younger ones. 

A General Election will settle nothing and given the polls both main parties would be foolish to take the risk. A Government of National Unity can only be formed if 300 Conservative and Labour backbenchers abandon tribal party loyalties and step up to put the country first. Sadly, with few exceptions, given the lack of courage that has bedevilled politics for the last three years, I fear it would be unlikely. And so I land once more on the only way out of the crisis – a People’s Vote. 

Meanwhile, the Labour opposition stumbles from one disaster to another. It’s worth remembering the leadership was swift to dismiss a Government of National Unity but then floated doing a deal with the SNP as a means to securing the keys to No 10. Not surprisingly, there was furious condemnation of such a plan from the Scottish Labour Party. Today’s news that the party is haemorrhaging members comes as no surprise given the grip of the Corbyn cult, the failure to root our anti-semitism and pitiful lack of leadership at this most critical of times.  

Most Conservative supporters that I speak to are in equal despair at the Johnson led Government and its lurch to the right. One Nation Tories are no longer welcome or indeed tolerated, and those Cabinet Ministers who profess to being on the sensible moderate wing of the Conservative Party have been sidelined and packed off on holiday. 

Like many other remain campaigners, I accepted the referendum result and I voted to trigger Article 50 and for the Withdrawal Act. Since then and despite all our efforts, firstly Theresa May and now Boris Johnson have rejected the softest Brexit which would protect our economy and secure peace in Northern Ireland. No one back in 2016 voted for the crisis we find ourselves in. Voters were promised a deal before we left the EU – crashing out without a deal was roundly rejected by the Leave campaign. As your MP, I could have chosen an easier route – kept my head down and gone with the flow. I chose to stand up for what I believe is right, namely putting the interests of you my constituent and our country first and foremost.

I will continue doing that for as long as it takes.

1 Comment

  1. There might be no mandate for ‘no deal’, Ms Soubry, but by the same token there is no mandate for ‘a deal’ either. The only mandate is to ‘leave the EU’: that’s all the electorate was asked to vote for. Admittedly on insufficient information (or possibly on untruths).
    As others have said, if we ‘go back to the people’ what question(s) will now be on the ballot paper? And can we believe any of what we are now told by any of the MPs? Best of 5 referenda??
    We must now be in the weakest negotiating position with the EU thanks to the protracted and cowardly indecision and in-fighting within the ranks of the House of Commons.


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