This week Britain will make one the most important decisions about our country we have had to make in a generation – whether to remain or leave the European Union.

Putting this decision into the hands of the public was one of the Conservatives election promises and I voted with colleagues to give the electorate the chance to make this historic choice.

As part of that process, the Prime Minister has also delivered on our manifesto pledge to attempt to renegotiate a better deal for Britain in Europe.

Throughout the talks, I know David Cameron was driven by one consideration – what is best for Britain’s economic and national security. It is now up to every individual to decide whether they want to remain in the European Union or leave, in what is the first referendum on this issue in over 40 years.

Whatever your opinion, it is extremely important everyone uses their vote in the referendum to give a clear indication of the British public’s decision on Europe.

This week has been an extremely difficult one for Members of Parliament, following the tragic death of the Member for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox.

The tributes paid by Parliamentary colleagues after the house was recalled on Monday, showed the high regard Jo was held in by people from across the political spectrum.

It was obviously an emotionally-charged session, made even more poignant by the presence of Jo’s husband and children in the public gallery.

At times like this there can be a danger that security concerns can override the needs of MPs to be open and accessible to the people they represent, something which is the cornerstone of our democracy.

I was pleased to hear so many colleagues reaffirm their commitment to public service and the message from the entire house that members will not be turned away from doing our duty by threats of violence or intimidation.

This Saturday is Lytham Club Day, an event which is among those I most look forward to on Fylde’s civic calendar.

And looking at the forecast for the weekend, I am hopeful we will be blessed with sunshine and fine weather again to make for another memorable occasion.


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