302016Jun

Need for a figurehead to unite our country again

Click HERE to read my latest column in the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald.

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald Column

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen,” and what a monumental week in British politics!

I voted Remain last week because I had concerns about the effect Brexit might have on the economy and wanted to give reform in the EU one last chance. I believed that the complicated process of exit, the threat to jobs and investment and the risks involved probably outweighed frustrations about EU laws, regulation and legitimate concerns over sovereignty.

Whilst I may not have voted to leave, I am a democrat and I believe that it is our task as Members of Parliament to make the best of Brexit in the hope that all those with a more positive view of what leaving the EU will mean for the UK will be proved right.

Since the result last week, following on from an e-petition currently signed by over 4 million people – over 44,000 in Wiltshire – I have received over 400 emails from constituents calling for the referendum to be re-run. It does appear that the Chippenham constituency narrowly voted Remain, but even so, I do not think that re-running the referendum is either feasible or the right course of action. A referendum was held, a result was decisive and we must all accept it and act accordingly. We must set about ensuring that Britain once again becomes the world’s greatest trading nation, discuss ideas that will free up British business and allow them to grow and create new jobs.

Following the resignation of David Cameron, our country requires a new vision and strong leadership. Now that we have voted to leave the EU, we need to urgently develop a direction and destination for where we want our country to be going into the future. We need someone who can unite the country again so before I make any decision on who is my preferred choice to be that leader of our country, I want to hear what each candidate’s vision for Great Britain might be.

Brexit does mean that we now have a real opportunity to be even more internationally focused, especially in high growth areas like China, Brazil and India and to adopt a progressive immigration policy that is based on our economic needs not simply where people come from. I will be pushing for us to introduce a points based system akin to the Australian system which I saw working well when I lived there.

I am still deciding who to support for the Conservative party leadership and as the victor will automatically become the Prime Minister, I would welcome your input into who you think is best placed to lead our country. If you have any thoughts or comments about who you would like to see as our next Prime Minister, please let me know on michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk.