Charlie Elphicke is the Member of Parliament for Dover and Deal.
Brexit means Brexit and we need to get on with it. We must deliver on the decision of the British people to leave the European Union and start building a post-Brexit Britain. A Britain that works for towns and regions of our great nation – not just the jet-set elite.
Ask someone in Dover what they want the Government to do now we’ve voted to leave the EU and they will tell you straight. End uncontrolled EU immigration and stop paying billions to Brussels. That’s why I am today moving a bill to press for these key red lines to be respected – as well as to give Labour MPs a chance to end their arrogant talk of a second referendum and show they will accept the will of the British people.
I have long felt that the EU is a toxic, out of touch clique. My only concern about leaving was the risk of the French returning British border controls from Calais to Dover.
Yet it’s clear that the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union because they have had enough of uncontrolled EU immigration. They’ve been promised net migration will be reduced to the tens of thousands. Yet it remains at a sky-high 330,000. As a result of uncontrolled EU immigration, British workers are £450 worse off a year, according to a report by the left-leaning Resolution Foundation. Small wonder that three-quarters of those who voted to Leave say controlling immigration must be the Government’s top Brexit priority. Despite what big business might say, there is no evidence mass immigration brings any real economic benefit to the British people. We must take back control of our borders and end uncontrolled EU immigration.
The British people are fed up with being dictated to by Europe and seeing their hard-earned cash blown by Brussels bureaucrats. We can now invest that money in Britain – but we must not just waste it on big projects that will only benefit the privileged few.
In recent years, a colossal £4.7 billion has been pledged to Crossrail while billions have also been promised to support huge projects like HS2 and runways for London that nobody wants. It shows how far things have gone that public spending per head in 2014/15 was highest in London at £9,840 – an incredible 26 per cent higher than the South East at £7,756. What people want is broadband that works properly across the country, to see airport expansion in places like Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester – along with better railways and roads for the regions. That must include vital regional projects like dualling the A2 to Dover. I am sure readers can reel off projects in their areas that would make a huge difference to their daily lives too.
For too long Britain has worked for the Philip Greens of this world, not the working-class kids of Dover, Dartford, Doncaster and Darlington. It is the resurgence of the towns and districts which must be the foundation on which post-Brexit Britain is built. A Britain where we make big businesses pay their taxes and check bloated boardroom bonuses. A nation where infrastructure investment works for the towns and regions rather than just the big cities. We must build a Britain where you can succeed in the districts without being forced to move to the capital.
This Government was given the mandate of the masses on June 23 to leave the EU, take back control of our borders and begin building a Britain that works for everyone. This must start now to give us the security, stability and certainty we need to succeed.
The British people will not tolerate any attempt to water down what our constituents voted for. Article 50 is clearly a matter for the Prime Minister alone – yet the sooner the Prime Minister invokes Article 50, the better.
This bill will also give Labour MPs a chance to end their talk of a second referendum to drag the country back into the EU – to show they submit to the will of the British people.
Brexit means Brexit and we need to get on with it. The people of Britain voted for us to take back control of our borders and end uncontrolled EU immigration. They voted for us to take back control of our country and end the billions for Brussels. The towns and the districts shouted the loudest – that is where the building of the new post-Brexit Britain must begin.