MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

The big business in Parliament this week has been the Brexit Repeal Bill.

I voted for the Government to adopt the Bill, as I pledged to do after Fylde’s referendum result showed a clear desire by constituents to leave the European Union.

The bill passed its second stage in the Commons with a majority of 36, with no Conservative MPs voting against it, and Labour seemingly in chaos over Brexit.

At my last count, there have been at least eight different stances Labour have taken on Europe since the General Election; staying in the Customs Union, staying in the Single Market, leaving both, welcoming freedom of movement and limiting it – it changes constantly, showing the chaos we would have had with Jeremy Corbyn at the negotiating table. Some of his party members now want a second referendum in a bid to overturn the result of the first.

The Repeal Bill delivers a legal guarantee that the UK can set its own laws after we leave the EU, outside the control of the European Court of Justice.

It will allow us to move on with the process of Brexit.

Our plan is to simply transfer EU law into UK law. After that, Parliament can alter and amend as it sees fit. It is the pragmatic and sensible thing to do.

Of course, not every European law will work perfectly when it is converted into UK law. That is why the Repeal Bill contains powers to make corrections to the law, to ensure that all of our laws continue to operate effectively.

In Parliament we have also started looking into public sector pay this week – and increases are on the way.

Police officers will receive two per cent this year, and prison officers a 1.7 per cent rise, with the increase funded from within existing budgets.

Our public sector workers are hardworking and talented and the one per cent pay freeze has been difficult. We have had to take a balanced approach to public spending, dealing with our debts to keep our economy strong, while also making sure we invest in our public services.

I am delighted to see Blackpool Airport saved this week after Blackpool Council agreed to pay £4.25 million to purchase the site from Balfour Beatty.

The airport is vital for the Fylde coast economy and will be a real boost to the Enterprise Zone around it.

Blackpool Council has pledged to continue the now profit-making airport’s business. I am fully committed to working with the new owners to ensure that commercial flights once again return to the airport.

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