Article for Tiptree Tribune

The recent referendum on Scottish independence has reinvigorated the debate in England about England's role in the United Kingdom. Following the decision of the Scottish people to remain in the UK and the agreement reached to grant the Scottish Parliament more powers, a new settlement for England is needed. I share the concerns of many of my constituents who have contacted me as they feel it is unfair that Scottish MPs, as well as Welsh and Northern Irish MPs, are able to vote on laws that affect England only and not their constituents.
 
When more powers are being transferred away from Westminster to the administrations in Scotland, Cardiff and Belfast, it is unsustainable and undemocratic for the current constitutional arrangements to remain in place. Unless reform takes place, there will be instances where UK Governments, propped up by MPs in Scotland and Wales, will pass laws through Parliament on taxes and spending that will only affect England. This has already happened. In 2004, the last Labour Government forced through higher tuition fee charges only because 46 Scottish Labour MPs backed the plans, even though education in Scotland is a matter in which the UK Parliament has not power over. My constituents in Essex should no longer be faced with paying taxes and receiving public services which the balance of Scottish MPs have determined and forced upon them when these changes would not affect Scotland.
 
The commitment that the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party have given to reforming Parliament so that this democratic and constitutional anomaly can become a thing of the past is welcome and much-needed. The Prime Minister is also right to point out that these changes should be brought in alongside the new powers that will be granted to the Scottish Parliament.
 
Unfortunately, the Labour Party wants to deny the English people a voice in how they are governed. They are content to go on with the current arrangements so that Labour MPs representing Scottish constituencies can impose laws on England. Labour, under Ed Miliband's weak leadership, wants to kick this issue into the long grass rather than take the action needed to address it. Labour also wants to deny the public a vote on our future relationship with the European Union because they do not trust the British people. When the General Election comes next year, those who want to vote on our membership of the EU and want to ensure English only laws are made by English MPs should know that it is only a Conservative Government which can deliver this.
 
Readers will have noticed that we are currently in the middle of the Party conference season. Anyone paying attention to the Labour Party Conference will have noticed further displays of weak leadership from Ed Miliband and a Party which once again demonstrated that it would be unfit to govern Britain. We have heard Labour politicians make unrealistic and unfunded spending commitments while Ed Miliband failed to mention the deficit during his speech. Under Labour there would be more taxes, more wasteful spending and more costly borrowing.
 
Labour have become so out of touch with reality they are oblivious to the fact that growth has returned to the economy and that there are now record numbers of people in employment. All this would be put at risk with Labour's plans. Worryingly, Ed Miliband also announced that he's happy for businesses to bring in more workers from outside the EU. When Labour were last in Government Britain suffered the consequences of uncontrolled immigration as millions of immigrants arrived in this country. The current Government is getting to grips with this problem but Labour's plans would be a backwards step, cost British jobs and see our borders reopened to all.
 
To support the creation of more local jobs, I am holding a Jobs Fair in Witham Public Hall on Collingwood Road on Friday 10 October 2014, between 10.30am and 2.30pm. The Jobs Fair will bring together over 30 local organisations with those looking for work and more details can be found on my website:
 
 

A12/A120 Consultations

Strategic Road Network Consultations

There are two important consultations running at the moment on key strategic road infrastructure improvements - the A12 widening scheme and the upgrading of the A120. Priti has been campaigning to secure new investment in these roads and has welcomed the consultations taking place. Members of the public can review the proposals for the A12 and A120 at the weblinks below, attend consultation events, and respond to the consultation. Feel free to also contact Priti by email to: [email protected] with your views too.

Widening the A12

Upgrading the A120

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