MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

I am pleased to see this year’s St Annes International Kite Festival set to be the biggest yet – thanks to the support of businesses in the town.
Organisers have been able to stage an Illuminated Night Fly, complete with music and fireworks on Friday from 8 to 10pm, which promises to be a treat.
I hope a good crowd can support the event, which has the backing of Fylde and St Annes Town Councils, as well as a growing number of businesses.
Following the successes of Lytham Festival and the 1940s Weekend, the Kite Festival is set to put Fylde on the map once again, and bring the action-packed summer holidays to a glorious end.
Elsewhere in this edition of the Express, you will see I am not enamoured with the decision to close Fylde’s two remaining police front counters.
The Police and Crime Commissioner has made the decision to close counters – in mainly Conservative-voting areas – to help save some £1 million.
However, I am yet to hear any response to my representations that the move is akin to losing front line officers, that it will place call handlers on the 101 line under more pressure, that it unfairly affects those unable to contact police by email or online reporting, and that it goes against a pledge made by the Commissioner when he closed the Lytham counter and station.
This week the Government has entered into the third round of negotiations as we prepare to leave the European Union.
Since the last round of talks, the Government has published a large number of position papers covering important issues including the continuity in the availability of goods on the market, confidentiality of documents, future civil judicial cooperation, proposed mechanisms for enforcement and dispute resolution once the European Court of Justice no longer has direct jurisdiction in the UK, and data protection.
We want to agree a deal that works in the best interests of both the European Union and the United Kingdom, and people and businesses right across Europe.  These position papers are the products of the hard work and detailed thinking that has been going on behind the scenes over the past 12-months, and should form the basis of a constructive week of talks between the European Commission and the United Kingdom.
In the meantime, Labour has imploded on Europe, once stating we must leave the Single Market and Customs Union, and now giving a variety of messages on membership of both.
We are up to Labour’s tenth different plan for Brexit. The negotiations, with them in charge, would have been nothing short of disastrous.

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