Category Archives: Politics

Modern liberal conservatism

Not liberal. Not democrats.

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15 Brexit negotiating errors Boris must fix

The following is an extract from an article which first appeared in full in the Telegraph online on 27 July 2019 under the headline, “Why I rejected the offer of a Ministerial post in Boris Johnson’s glittering new government”: We urgently need to correct some vital structural problems in our negotiations. The restoration of Cabinet collective responsibility is the first step. Long may it last. Of course, Boris has fixed the problem of our restrictive over-interpretation of the duty of sincere […]

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Defra update

After meeting with local farmers recently I asked the Government a number of questions about support for farmers and the environment. When I asked the Department for Food and Rural Affairs how they planned to support farmers in halting the spread of TB, the minister Robert Goodwill MP replied: “We are pursuing a wide range of interventions as part of the Government’s strategy to eradicate bovine TB in England by 2038, including strengthening cattle testing and movement controls, licensing badger […]

Get a MOOve on Defra!

Whilst the majority of my constituents live in High Wycombe there are substantial rural areas in the Wycombe constituency.  Most of the countryside is in the Green Belt or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and about 20 per cent of my constituents live in country villages. I was pleased to be able to meet farmer Nick Mansfield recently to discuss some of the challenges facing local farmers, talking about animal welfare, environmental stewardship and TB.  Nick took me to land […]

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Why I rejected Theresa May’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, and the idea of remaining in a Customs Union

I want your vote to count in how we govern ourselves.  I want MPs in Parliament to be free to decide our own laws and policies, reflecting the priorities of citizens and the best interests of this country.   The Prime Minister’s proposed agreement would not allow this to happen: we would be trapped in a worse position than membership with no vote, no voice and no means to escape except by permission. I have set out my views in more […]

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Compromise on Terms of Withdrawal

I remain convinced that only two kinds of exit would be consistent with the vote to leave the EU. Either we should leave with a deal of the kind the EU offered us in March 2018, or we should leave and trade on WTO terms whilst tabling a set of treaties to deliver on that offer of security cooperation, participation in institutions and a comprehensive advanced free trade agreement. Other suggestions – such as remaining in the EU, the EU’s […]

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Party Politics and remaining in the Conservative Party

Some have suggested I leave the Conservative Party to either join another party or establish a new one.  I have no wish to do either and it is not something I am contemplating.  I am a Conservative because I believe the Conservative party, despite all our difficulties, embodies the best hope we have for a free and prosperous UK under responsible, far-sighted government. I will be sticking with the Conservatives, not least because I find I am in agreement with […]

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Future Elections and Party Organisation

I have received a wide range of correspondence, covering the full spectrum of opinion from remaining in the EU after all, whether with or without a further referendum, through accepting the Prime Minister’s deal to leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement and trading on WTO terms.  People have said I should vote to to represent their view, rather than my own, notwithstanding the reality that voters in Wycombe have expressed every conceivable opinion on the way forward.  This goes to the […]

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How I would like to leave the EU and my contributions to finding a solution

People have asked me what I would like to happen or what I would be prepared to vote for.  As a minister, I was prevented from including in my speeches the offer made by the EU in March 2018, which you can find here: I would like the UK to exit the EU into a relationship of the character of that offer, for the whole UK. The EU’s offer included security co-operation, participation in various programmes and institutions, dealing with […]

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Should We Have a Second Referendum?

In 2016, the British people were asked whether they wanted to remain in the EU or leave the EU and 33.5 million people freely voted for their preferred option.  Before the referendum was held, I said I would honour the result: I believe for democracy to flourish we must give people confidence their vote will mean something through being implemented. Many people who voted in 2016 did so for the first time in their lives. There would be disastrous political […]

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