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Towns thriving despite Brexit uncertainty, says Hornchurch and Upminster MP

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 December 2016

Hornchurch and Upminster MP Dame Angela Watkinson

Hornchurch and Upminster MP Dame Angela Watkinson

Archant

Brexit continues to dominate the news – most of it speculation – and the High Court has decided that Parliament must vote on triggering the two-year process.

The government has appealed to the Supreme Court and that decision is expected in early December. If the appeal is lost Parliament will have to vote.

This means Parliament could overturn the result of the referendum and render it pointless.

As a supporter of the UK remaining in the EU, I very much regret the decision of the electorate, but it was a democratic decision and should therefore stand.

Many people regret not bothering to vote or wish they had voted the other way but it is too late. A general election may not be rerun because the margin of success was very small and neither should a referendum – the winning side only needs one more vote than the loser and that is democracy. Churchill said that democracy is the least worst form of government and the separation of powers between government and the judiciary is an important defence against dictatorship. It is already clear that nothing is going to happen quickly.

We can’t just walk away and make successful new trading deals overnight. Neither can we declare our negotiating stance before entering talks. Much diplomacy is going to be needed to secure advantageous new relationships with other countries and this cannot be taken for granted. On a brighter note, Hornchurch and Upminster are still great places to live, bring up a family or run a business.

Average earnings are 25 per cent higher than the national average, nearly ¾ of residents own their own homes and only 2pc of local people need to claim benefits. Young people’s clubs and organisations are thriving and our high streets are teeming with busy coffee shops and restaurants.

As the Christmas decorations go up and the festive season gets going, may I wish everyone, including those who may be lonely, sad or unwell, a happy and healthy New Year.

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