We’re midweek through Stoptober – an annual tradition where people try and abstain from smoking. Unfortunately, for too many people this monthly habit normally ends after a week, or going straight back to their old habit whilst packing away the Halloween decorations on 1st November.
Like many of those currently trying to stop I did so very intermittently: a week or so here or even for a month or two. But for some reason the temptation for nicotine always lingered as doggedly as the smell of tobacco clings to clothes.
I’ve known Theresa May well beyond my 13 years as a fellow Berkshire MP.
Her serious and sensible approach to politics and high office is matched by her honest and reasonable nature. Those who have dealt with also know that she is as decent as she is fearless in her approach to getting the job done. These are precisely the qualities we need to secure the best possible exit from the European Union.
One of the curious issues I noticed from the Remain campaign during the EU referendum was that their message about Britain’s potential future in the EU was starkly different from the one coming from Brussels itself.
The Remain campaign vociferously attacked any suggestion that the EU wanted to expand into the Balkans, create an EU Army, shift yet more power away from national governments or threaten the removal of our opt-outs.
Yet this was precisely the content of Jean-Claude Juncker’s state of the union speech yesterday that was greeted to rapturous applause. His points included:
On Tuesday 12th September Adam asked the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department for an update on the work being made to ensure the UK’s continued participation in EU space projects (11:48:34 to 11:49:20):
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Questions, 12th September:
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): The ingenuity, expertise and experience of our UK space sector enables us to punch well above our weight and to collaborate globally in bodies such as CERN, ESA and many others that predate the EU. Does the Minister agree that we should continue fully to support the role that British companies play in both other European space agencies and the EU space programme?
Jo Johnson (Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation): My hon. Friend has great expertise in this area, through his association with the Parliamentary Space Committee. I can reassure him, as I did a moment ago, that we are committed to continuing to collaborate closely with European countries to develop our space sector to the benefit of all those in employment in this sector in this country.
On Monday 11th September Adam asked the Department for Education for an update on their work to improve social mobility [14:56:00 to 14:57:48]:
Education Questions, 11th September:
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): What steps the Government is taking to improve social mobility in disadvantaged areas.
Justine Greening (Secretary of State for Education): We are committed to supporting social mobility across the country, including in those areas that face the greatest challenges and have the fewest opportunities. At the vanguard of this approach, we are investing £72 million in 12 opportunity areas based in social mobility cold spots. We are working in these areas with local partners to improve educational attainment, to build opportunity and to broaden horizons for children and young people across early years, schools, and further and higher education.