It is only natural in a democracy to have polite disagreements about political issues, even amongst close friends, family and work colleagues. On an epoch-defining issue such as Brexit this is not only expected but virtually compulsory for there to be an energetic national debate in order for a decision to have legitimacy – which is why I am so pleased that the decision to leave the EU was taken in a referendum by the people, not simply a vote in Parliament.
Nonetheless, I very much respect the views of those constituents, MPs and others who voted to remain because they sincerely back a different vision of the UK after Brexit.
Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has asked the Government a series of Parliamentary Questions concerning international trade to uncover what steps the Government is taking to prepare the UK for its departure from the European Union.
They have shone a light on a series of actions being taken by the Government to utilise technology and diplomatic relations to promote international trade and enable businesses to make the most of the new opportunities that withdrawing from the European Union’s Customs Union will bring.
Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s latest speech in Florence regarding the UK’s exit from the European Union.
In Florence today Theresa May reiterated the UK’s shared values with the rest of the Europe and continuing commitment to security, stability and prosperity. Her speech also proposed more details on the rights of EU citizen’s rights, a 2 year transition period and an ambitious co-operative partnership in economic and security matters.
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.