Before I comment on whether Brexit means Brexit I want to bring attention to a new NHS Consultation that runs for 12 weeks, starting on 4 July and ending on 28 September 2018. The Consultation is seeking views on whether 17 separate medical interventions should cease to be routinely commissioned on the NHS. Included on the list is snoring surgery, breast reduction, tonsillectomy, and varicose vein surgery. Can I strongly suggest that you take part in the consultation which explains the thinking behind why these and 13 other procedures are being considered and what the alternative medical intervention should be?
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You can also email your views to: england.EBinterventions@nhs.net.
There’s little need to comment on the resignations from Government front benches other than to say that I am not aware of any plan to oust the PM. The vast majority, including myself, believe she is best placed to oversee the negotiations that will take the UK out of the EU. The key areas set out by the PM last Friday as the Government’s position to be presented to Brussels are: the UK will be leaving the EU on 29th March 2019, we will be ending free movement and taking back control of our borders and we will not be sending vast sums of money each year to the EU. We will set up a new business friendly customs model with freedom to strike new trade deals around the world, we will negotiate a UK-EU free trade area with a common rulebook for industrial goods and agricultural products which will be good for jobs, we will remain committed to maintaining high standards on consumer and employment rights and the environment and there will be a parliamentary lock on all new rules and regulations. We are leaving the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy, restoring the supremacy of British courts by ending the jurisdiction of the ECJ in the UK, there will be no hard border between NI and Ireland or between NI and GB and there will be close cooperation on security to keep our people safe. Finally, we will establish independent foreign and defence policy working closely with the EU and other allies. If this can be agreed to in Brussels then I believe much of the uncertainty and confusion will be cleared up and nerves will settle.
I’m naturally concerned about what a ‘common rule book’ looks like although I support aligned regulation that allows access to medicine and good safe food for example. Whatever common rules we work to they must be mutually beneficial and mutually agreed. I’m delighted that leaving the Common Fisheries Policy is included and the draft fisheries policy published last week is a relief and a source of confidence for fishermen in West Cornwall and on Scilly. Leaving the Common Agriculture Policy is also part of the deal and this is welcome as is the commitment to continue supporting our farmers to produce the food we need and care for our natural environment. Brussels needs to know that we are serious about getting the right deal for Britain and that we can remain friends with the EU. Our job as politicians (and what the British people expect) is to focus on this rather than our disagreements.