Prorogation

Thank you for contacting me about the end of the Parliamentary session.

There are two issues that have been raised by the decision of the Prime Minister, as agreed to by Her Majesty the Queen: the need for a new Queen's Speech, and the opportunity for Parliament to debate any matters, including Brexit.

Normally Parliament is prorogued each year in advance of a Queen's Speech. The current session of Parliament has lasted longer than any in the last 400 years, but in recent months has been one of the least active. It is time to start afresh with a new Parliamentary session. For too long the deadlock in Parliament has taken the focus away from key domestic issues. The Prime Minister has announced plans to bring forward a new bold and ambitious legislative agenda: helping the NHS, fighting violent crime, levelling up school funding, investing in infrastructure and science, and cutting the cost of living. The British people have been asking for these changes now for too long. A Queen’s Speech is an opportunity to outline this plan of action.

Party conference recess always happens under each and any government. In October, there will be the loss of three days' business on October 8th, 9th and 10th. If the Government were committing, as some have argued, "a constitutional outrage", then Parliament would be prorogued until November 1st, in order to ensure that the House did not sit between now and that date. This is not happening.

Following the conclusion of the traditional party conference season, Parliament will have plenty of time to discuss Brexit, as it has done for over three years. There will be no change to the dates on which MPs would be debating any deal agreed at the October 17th and 18th European Council. The Prime Minister is keen that Parliament is sitting before and after Council so they are able to consider what is negotiated, and hopefully pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. If there is no deal, they will have an opportunity to hear what was said at Council, and respond accordingly. We have debated Brexit repeatedly in the House, and I have voted on three occasions to leave with a deal. It is a matter of regret that Labour, and other opposition parties, have repeatedly blocked the United Kingdom leaving with a deal. It remains both my, and the Prime Minister's, desire for an agreed deal by way of a withdrawal agreement with our partners in the EU.

I accept that not everyone agrees with the result of the EU Referendum, but I am a democrat and I believe we need to leave the EU and abide by the decision of the Referendum, in light of the assurances given by all political parties, and MPs, both before and after June 23rd, 2016. I am also of the view that the British people want Brexit to be sorted, and for their Government to focus on the renewal of our country.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.