MP's column

I am receiving an unprecedented number of emails, the majority calling on me to support or reject the Brexit withdrawal agreement. I will not pretend that I can realistically respond to every one, simply because of the sheer number. I am drafting responses seeking to address the general enquiries and will distribute these widely.

We now know the date (Tuesday, 11th December) for the ‘Meaningful Parliamentary’ vote on the Brussels Withdrawal Agreement. My primary concern is the issue of the backstop (which allows for continued almost frictionless trade beyond the implementation period if a trade deal has not been secured in time). My understanding and the general perceived wisdom is that should I and my colleagues support the withdrawal agreement then we immediately create the possibility of the backstop.

The UK Government or Parliament cannot then decide when we leave the backstop arrangement and implement free trade deals with the rest of the world. The preferred outcome, should a trade deal not be ready by January 1st 2021, would be to agree a time-limited extension of the implementation period. This would be the sensible approach and could be acceptable to most MPs. I cannot see the PM securing the support of parliament on December 11th if the backstop remains on the table.

As stated previously I’m seeking clarification from the Attorney General on UK control of access to UK waters post implementation period, that the UK’s integrity is maintained - no part being treated differently by the agreement and whether the UK will become an Independent Sovereign State post implementation period (definition - control over our own laws).

I was privileged to meet with students at Penwith College last week to answer questions and seek to clarify confusion regarding our exit of the EU next March. One thing I want to stress is that all EU legislation that exists today will be adopted into UK law next March with or without a deal. We will notice no difference to the laws we live by and are protected by when we wake up on March 30th.

I am very grateful to Helston Community College and contractors BAM for giving me the chance to look round the school’s £17 million new building halfway through construction. The building is shaping up to becoming a spectacular and exciting facility for the wider Helston community and, although long overdue, people can be proud of this significant investment in local education. I’m assured that the build will be handed over to Helston Community College in time for lessons next September which is great news and a testament to the commitment and effort of the school and governing board over many years.

Cllr Bill Maddern passed away recently and his funeral service was both a celebration of his life and a reminder of his commitment and hard work on behalf of residents in West Penwith. Over decades he served as a hands-on councillor at parish, district and county level and amongst many memories I recall him in his wellies alongside Cormac workers unblocking gullies in severe rainfall and battling with officers for sensible road improvements and repairs across his Buryan division.