In 2019 the Conservative Party won the general election with an 80-seat majority with the promise to ‘Get Brexit Done’, which we have now delivered on.
Having supported Brexit from the beginning and representing a constituency which voted overwhelmingly to leave it has been an honour to assist on delivering this historic decision made directly by the Great Britain and Northern Ireland electorate.
Since the Conservative Government delivered on Brexit, the UK has already secured trade agreements with 69 countries, and this number is continuing to grow. These agreements were worth over £744 billion as of 2020 and will continue to bring financial benefits to the UK.
Now that we have left the EU and the UK is a free and independent trading nation, we can truly become Global Britain, without the shackles of EU bureaucracy. To this end, we are in negotiations to join the £9 trillion Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Further to these immediate benefits, leaving the EU will continue to open future opportunities to grow our economy.
The Government has ambitious plans for the future that will level-up the different regions of the country and secure our economic prosperity outside of the bloc. This includes plans to spend over £600 billion in gross public investment over the next five years. A new UK Infrastructure Bank has opened and is able to provide £12 billion of equity and debt capital to support private and public sector projects. The £2 billion Kickstart Scheme is providing young people at risk of long-term unemployment with fully subsidised jobs and the £2.5 billion National Skills Fund is also offering skills training to adults.
Additionally, thanks to leaving the EU the UK will be able to adapt more easily to the changes and technological innovations of the coming decades. We will be able to set regulations for new sectors to encourage investment and new ideas more quickly than the EU.
This was made immediately clear in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine which began in December 2020. The UK procured vaccines months before the EU, approved the vaccine weeks before the bloc and vaccinated millions of people at a far quicker pace than our partners on the continent.
Finally, now that we have full control of our borders and our laws the Government is in the process of bolstering our rule of law in relation to illegal immigration.
Through the Nationality and Borders Bill, the Government will seek to introduce new and tougher criminal offences for those attempting to enter the UK illegally by raising the penalty for illegal entry from six months to four years imprisonment and introducing life sentences for people smugglers.
Further measures in the Bill include a one-stop appeals process; the ability to process claims outside the country; and life sentences for people smugglers.
This legislation is a part of the Government’s New Plan for Immigration, which seeks to retain this compassionate approach and combine it with increased fairness, firmness and efficiency.
Government Ministers have also announced that asylum claims from people who can be shown to have come from safe countries prior to their arrival in the UK will be considered for inadmissibility action. Where inadmissibility is appropriate, asylum claims will not be considered substantively in the UK, and the person will be liable to be removed to a safe third country (with that country’s agreement).
It is thanks to the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, voting for Brexit that has made this work possible. It is a great pleasure to represent the constituents of South Basildon and East Thurrock in Parliament and assist in taking back control of our rule of law and sovereignty.