MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

Much has been written in this column about the potential of the Prime Minister’s speech on Europe.

This has now occurred since I last wrote in this space, and I know many of you were as heartened by what he had to say as I was.

The EU is in the grip of change – internally, the single currency is driving a major shift in its structure, while externally, the global race that is underway is showing up Europe’s lack of competitiveness against leaner, more dynamic economies in the East and South.

I was therefore pleased by the Prime Minister’s assertion that we need to negotiate a better settlement for Britain in the EU, and then offer the public a simple in/out referendum come 2017, following this renegotiation.

By this time, anyone under the age of 60 will have never had a say over our place in Europe, and I for one, am excited about the prospect of voicing my opinion.

In the meantime, work continues in Westminster on a number of vital issues for Fylde.

Notably, on Tuesday morning, I was pleased to attend an event in the Department for Communities and Local Government on pop-up shops.

Pop-ups are a great way to get empty shops back into use and help start-ups reach customers.

In this economic climate, supporting our local high streets is crucial, and I hope Town Team Partners, like the one set up in Kirkham, are able to make the most of these opportunities.

I also held a meeting between local Lancashire MPs, the Minister of State for Energy, John Hayes MP, and union representatives from Springfield Nuclear Fuels.

I felt arranging this meeting was imperative for this vital local business, and I know the meeting was well received.

Finally, last week I mentioned my support for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer.

I have carried this on by supporting calls for a debate in the House on this issue, and I very much hope we will be allotted time to discuss what can be done to help those with this devastating illness.

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