This Parliament is unique in that it is able to debate and pass legislation paving the way for trading agreements around the world - something the UK Parliament has not been able to do for decades. I feel privileged to serve at a time when we can introduce ambitious legislation on our environment, on agriculture, on fishing and on trade.
There are a few concerns I feel compelled to address head on now that we can fashion our own trade relationship with both the EU, our Commonwealth partners and the rest of the world. I voted for the Trade Bill again on Monday and once it becomes law, Parliament will gain the right to block any treaty from being ratified as well as the right to reject any domestic implementation legislation necessary for a trade treaty. I have already voted for legislation that transfers all existing EU food safety provisions, including existing import requirements, on to the UK statute book. In addition to this the Government has committed to a Food Standards Commission so UK farmers will not be undermined by lower standards of food and animal welfare overseas. I have previously stated that rigorous protections will be in place for our NHS. These will be included in future trade agreements and Parliament has the power to block anything it does not like. Free trade raises incomes, creates jobs and lifts people out of poverty. I believe in the opportunity that free trade can bring but not at the expense of high levels of quality and protection enjoyed in our country. People may love or loathe the slogan ‘take back control’. When it comes to trade we will and Parliament can block any treaty it chooses to! This is in line with similar systems such as Canada and goes further than countries such as Australia and New Zealand where Parliament cannot directly block ratification of a trade treaty.
On several occasions I’ve had the pleasure of meeting virtually with West Cornwall’s Cornwall Councillors and this has been invaluable in identifying the issues on the ground during lockdown and getting something done about them. I will continue to meet in this way as long as our councillors choose to. Ordinarily I’d spend my weekends travelling around the constituency meeting people and picking up the issues first hand this way. As lockdown restrictions continue to ease I’m returning to this routine and will make the most of the Summer Recess to reconnect with people in person!
Safety improvements to the A30 through Crowlas and Cockwells have been long promised and Government funds were secured for this in 2016. After a difficult meeting with Highways England and Cornwall Council officers we have finally been able to get them to bring this work forward to late August/early September. The work this time is to install an extension to the 30mph limit to improve the safety of residents and road users. Further work is still underway to identify a way to manage HGVs through Ludgvan and improve the safety of the Crowlas junction.