AS many of you know, EU dominated last week’s Parliamentary agenda.

Although I have always been, and will remain, a eurosceptic, I couldn’t support the motion in the current situation. I based this decision on two considerations.

Firstly, our coalition agreement clearly states that a referendum will be held should any more powers transferred to Brussels and that we are working hard to repatriate powers back to Westminster.

I don’t believe we should abandon our commitment to the coalition agreement easily. 

Secondly, I don’t believe now is the time for an in/out referendum. The EU and the Eurozone are under a threat and, want it or not, the welfare and prosperity of the UK is at the moment bound to the welfare and prosperity of the EU.

We must first solve this crisis if we want to strengthen and stabilise our economy.

Besides the EU debate, I have been extremely busy this week with a number of vital local issues – the most pressing of these being cockling.

I take this issue extremely seriously and I fear that should the status quo continue, there is a real chance of a catastrophe in the future.

I would particularly like to give credit to the RNLI who have done an excellent job in the circumstances – especially taken into account that they are volunteers.

Also the police, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and other emergency services have been working tirelessly with finite resources to address the situation.

I have been in contact with ministers and I will leave no stone unturned in making sure that the regulations are followed and enforced.

However, it is vital to recognise that there are plenty of cocklers who adhere to regulations and we should make sure that we support them. The challenge is to restrain illegal and dangerous cockling practices.

On another note, last weekend I had the pleasure of volunteering for a couple of hours at the Marie Curie charity shop in Kirkham. It gave me a good understanding of the great work they do and I wish them all the best.

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