Now is the time to grab opportunities
Dear Sir, — Last Friday marked Brexit Day: the end of an era and 47 years of EU membership. The prime minister has delivered on his number one election promise and “Got Brexit Done”. Our great nation has finally broken free, left the EU and become a sovereign, independent, global Britain once again. The endless opportunities that lie ahead must be grasped with both hands.
Now we have left the EU, we are in the process of taking back control of our borders, laws and trade. We will set our own rules and make our own deals. But crucially the interests of the British people can now be put first.
We are going to be in control of our own laws. This must lead to Government giving more powers and resources to local government to strengthen local economic growth. We, of course, will maintain and increase, where appropriate, animal welfare standards, environmental laws and workers’ rights. We are a nation of animal lovers, we care for our planet and we have always led the way on rights in the workplace.
We have a sea of opportunity when it comes to taking back control of our waters. We are an independent coastal state and must unleash the opportunity to restore our coastal communities. We also need a prosperous British farming sector so it’s great news that the Government has announced a reform of farm payments through the Agriculture Bill. The new system will ensure that farmers are rewarded for restoring natural riches and protecting nature.
We have a golden opportunity for free trade deals across the world.
That’s why I am pleased the Government is prioritising trade deals with the US, EU, Canada and New Zealand. We must become a true global leader for free trade and be a force for good on issues like climate change and security.
In trade negotiations with the EU, we must strive for a Canada-style trade deal, but also keeping the option of a WTO or Australian-style trade deal on the table.
Having full, democratic control over who comes to the UK will allow us to introduce the fair, Australian-style points-based immigration system the public voted for.
We can welcome the brightest and best to the UK based on what they have to offer, not where they come from. We must keep dangerous criminals out and remove those who abuse our hospitality, while also welcoming people from any country who genuinely have something to offer.
Now is the time to reunite our country to heal old wounds. Let’s leave behind Leavers vs Remainers and quite simply see ourselves as Britons and move forward together. — Yours faithfully,
(COUN) JOE PORTER
District councillor for Brown Edge and Endon,
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Cabinet member for climate change.