KEY ISSUES: Brexit, the Economy and Security

Brexit

The Referendum was a year ago and whichever way we all voted our nation decided to leave, democratically: and the will of the people must now be implemented. That is my view – and I have since worked to support our Prime Minister and the government in taking us out of Europe and getting the best possible deal.

There are two other ludicrous alternatives – the Lib Dem one in which we keep having more Referendums until we arrive at the ‘right’ answer (a very EU Commission approach to democracy) which means the EU wouldn’t need to negotiate at all; or Labour’s naive negotiating ploy (‘no deal is a bad deal’), reassuring the EU that no matter how awful their best offer Labour would never turn it down.

This is a question about democracy and trust, and it’s time to get the job done as best possible. As someone with experience of international government negotiations, I know the importance of reducing uncertainty and allowing business to go forward confidently – remembering that business generates 75% of our tax revenue to pay for the Health, Education and other services we all need. So no more referendums.

The economy

You cannot have social justice without a strong economy, and this is absolutely not the time for a Marxist approach, bashing entrepreneurs and businesses alike.

My party has created 2.9 million new jobs AND increased the wages of the poorest paid by over 6% last year through the National Living Wage. We have reduced the amount the government over spends by from over £150 billion each year to £50 billion a year: and we need to continue to reduce this to live within our means. Having another Labour blow out would be a dreadful return to old habits, and hurt the weakest and most vulnerable in society, with prices, mortgage rates and council tax rising sharply.

Raising business tax in particular, with all the uncertainties of leaving the EU, would see investment, growth and new jobs dry up – instead of attracting businesses (particularly innovative investors and companies) which will increase our tax revenues and pay for the additional funds we are putting and will put into priority areas like health, education, cyber protection and security.

Relying on a magic money tree to pay for free everything will only lead to a re-run of the last Labour movie which ended ‘sorry there’s no money left’. Your money. So let’s support business to support us.

Security

Over the last few years the Conservative-led government has adapted our security agencies, Armed Forces and policing to reflect new threats – often non-traditional in nature: frequently driven by cyber-attacks and helped by the development of technology.

We have put extra resources into intelligence gathering and cyber capabilities, and plan more for armed police units – and I pay tribute to those who have prevented 18 major attacks since 2010.

As the country in Europe with the biggest defence capability, we’ve also led on committing NATO countries to spend 2% on defence, committed to key new additional hardware like frigates and used our Development budget for overseas projects where we are building national capabilities in e.g. Afghanistan.

I cannot believe that anyone from our Armed Forces will vote for Jeremy Corbyn, who wants to leave NATO, abolish our nuclear deterrent, and who has voted against EVERY proposed anti-terrorism law.

And the Lib Dems have often voted against ways of ensuring that GCHQ has the legislative support it needs to be one step ahead of the terrorists.

This is a time for our country to make sure we have the right hardware, software, skills and legislation in place to defend our nation and our city effectively. We need strong leadership and crisis tested experience on security above all – something Theresa May’s six years as Home Secretary and year as Prime Minister have already shown.