We live in a representative democracy. Back in 2015 Parliament voted overwhelmingly, with support across the House, to hold a national referendum on our membership of the European Union. Parliament subsequently voted overwhelmingly to trigger “Article 50” (the process by which we leave).
The issue is clearly difficult and divisive. In a representative democracy it is predictable that the same strong passions evident in parts of the country are reflected in Parliament. However the country expects its representatives to act maturely. This was not the case on Monday night. The scenes in the Commons chamber were shameful.
I believe the country wants the Government to continue to address other pressing issues in society and to resolve our relationship with the EU.
The Government is right, with a new Prime Minister, to set out its broad agenda in a Queen’s Speech.
Parliament having voted down, on three occasions, the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the European Union and the UK (without agreeing on any alternative) it is also right that the Government continues to work tirelessly to secure a new deal which will be acceptable. I sincerely hope it succeeds and it is right to focus on 31st October as the end point. We need to resolve the issue. This view is also being expressed ever louder around the EU: a fact that accentuates the absolute necessity for us to be ready to leave without a deal if an acceptable deal is not forthcoming.
Away from Parliament among many local events last week it was a pleasure to attend fetes in Ardingly (congratulating again St Peters School for their transformative Ofsted Report), the Horticultural Show in Balcombe and the Crawley Down Village Fete.
Crawley Down benefitted from a brilliant display by the Turners Hill Retained Fire Team. These Firefighters are paid a regular retainer and extra when called out on duty. They have a vital role in ensuring our safety and we are hugely grateful for their work. They do however need more volunteers. If you are over 18 and it is of interest, you can learn more from the County Council website or turn up on a Tuesday evening at the station to meet the team.
Photo Credit: At the Crawley Down Fete Jeremy Quin met members of the Turners Hill Retained Firefighters Team. The team is on the look out for more volunteers - more details of the “on call firefighter” role can be found on the West Sussex County Council website.