My Week 05/12/18

The Brexit debate continues and I will be speaking in the Commons debate next Tuesday, 11 December, the day of the Meaningful Vote.

I have received many e-mails from constituents on the issue, some against Brexit altogether and wanting a second referendum, some against the deal, and some supporting the Prime Minister and urging me to back it.

I have weighed these issues very carefully, and my vote will be consistent with the election pledge which I made to my constituents only last year to honour the referendum decision.

I will support the deal which I believe is a pragmatic way forward.  As the Prime Minister said in the Commons, it is a compromise between strongly opposing public views, but “we will not bring our country together if we seek a relationship that gives everything to one side of the argument and nothing to the other.”

I am concerned that if the Commons rejects the deal there will be great uncertainty and risk.  I especially do not want to see a damaging ‘no deal’, but equally I believe that a second referendum would mean more uncertainty and division for months ahead.  We need to settle this issue sensibly and move on.

Meanwhile, there are local issues to deal with.  I was pleased that last week Mid Sussex District Council’s Planning Committee rejected a speculative application for a development in Hassocks.

I had urged the Committee to respect the Council’s own planning process and the village’s emerging neighbourhood plan.

This week I supported a Bill in the Commons which would limit the grounds of appeal against decisions on planning applications which are consistent with a neighbourhood or local plan

There was also some better news for Hassocks last week on rail following my meeting with the Chief Executive of GTR.  I have been pressing for direct peak-time services to Clapham Junction to be restored, so I was pleased when he told me that they have listened to our concerns.

In January they will hold a public consultation which will include several proposals, one of which will be stops to be added at Clapham Junction.  GTR will release more details about the consultation in due course.

This week I will join fellow MPs and local groups to meet the Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport at Westminster to discuss the Airport’s plans for expansion by using their second runway.

If you would like to get in touch with me, please e-mail me at nick@nickherbert.com.

Olivia RohllEurope, Brexit