Walsall Advertiser column: 23rd August 2017

The great thing about the Parliamentary recess is the amount of time I have been enjoying travelling around the constituency. From visiting major employers Keltruck in Willenhall and Homeserve on Green Lane, to dropping in on Stella Pettifer’s fundraising jumble sale on Harden Road and the Owl Run fundraiser at the Saddler’s Arms in Bloxwich; there has been much going on.

We’ve also had good news from the Government about more carriages and trains on the Chase Line from next year. Plus Walsall will get some direct trains to and from London. Both issues I campaigned on during the election and Conservatives are delivering in Government.

But there is one issue that keeps cropping up on my visits around Walsall North: and it’s Brexit. There is much optimism from people; after all, the reason that the EU didn’t want the UK to leave shows how much leverage the UK has in negotiations. We have a lot to offer not only the EU, but the wider world.

And that’s exactly the point. In the 21st century we need to be a global country with free trade right across the world. So, it is only right that the Government set out it’s bold objectives on a future agreement with the EU: to keep trade with the EU as frictionless as possible; and to establish an independent international trade policy.

If we can set our own trade policy then we will be able to export more. And that means jobs. Once, locks made in Willenhall were exported all around the world. Those days are gone, but the opportunity is there to make other items and sell them abroad. We lead the way in technology and engineering and why shouldn’t we sell this to the world?

Such a monumental change will take time to negotiate and then to implement – and it’s important we get it right. But this must not be used as an excuse, by some, to overturn the referendum vote. The people of Walsall North overwhelmingly voted to leave the European Union because they felt it wasn’t working for Walsall people. This Conservative government is doing something about it.

I am optimistic about the future and would love to hear your thoughts on how to make the most of this opportunity and make Brexit a success for Walsall North. If you want to send me your thoughts and ideas please visit:   www.eddiehughes.co.uk/brexit