A necessary election

21st April 2017

It has been an enormous privilege to serve the people of Torridge and West Devon for the past 12 years as MP. When re-elected just two years ago, I had expected that I would continue to do so at least until 2020, when the next election was due but the Fixed Term Parliament Act also permits a Prime Minister to seek the approval of the House of Commons for an early election and, last Wednesday, it gave its approval overwhelmingly. There, will, therefore, be a General Election on 8 June.

The reason for the election is the Government’s narrow majority of just 17. In practice, this means that the vital legislation that will be needed at this critical time in our country’s history to provide strong and stable government, to keep our economy strong and to effect our departure from the EU, will be very difficult to enact.

We need a Government with a strong majority to provide the certainty and stability to meet the challenges of leaving the EU, to send a clear message to the EU negotiators that the country is solidly behind the Prime Minister in seeking to achieve the best deal possible for the United Kingdom and to be able to ignore the lobby groups and factions on both sides who have said they will try to hold the Government to ransom and to force it to obey their own ideological priorities.

The decisions made at the negotiating table will have a profound impact for Torridge - from returning fishing rights to our fishermen to creating the right conditions for trade for our businesses and designing a fair arrangement for our farmers. It is essential, therefore, that the leader entrusted to negotiate in Brussels on our behalf is one whom we know will have the political room for manoeuvre and the ability to advocate effectively for our interests with the clear support of the British people. 

The Prime Minister has demonstrated that she has the requisite qualities to do just that. She has shown determination and pragmatic resolve in carrying out the clear democratic instruction of the referendum and more importantly, she has a plan for what she wants from our new relationship with the EU and a vision for the future of our country.

But this election will also be about who can be trusted not just with the complex task of negotiating withdrawal from the EU but with keeping our economy strong.

It is only with a strong economy that we can have the sustainable NHS and good schools that we all want.

Under this Conservative Government, the deficit has been cut by almost three-quarters and because of the robust actions and sometimes difficult decisions that it has taken, last week, the IMF upgraded the economy’s 2017 growth forecast to 2 per cent, the second highest in the developed world.  

The way to strengthen Britain’s hand in the Brexit negotiations and to ensure strong and stable leadership for our country is equip the Government with the tools it needs to meet the great national challenges that we face.

The alternative is the coalition of chaos proposed by Nicola Sturgeon, of the SNP, the Labour Party, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats in an unholy and unstable alliance and with Jeremy Corbyn as its leader. 

Surgery Dates

Geoffrey holds regular surgeries. To book an appointment please click here or call 01822 612925.
Saturday 28th July
Bideford, Torrington
Saturday 8th September
Holsworthy, Tavistock