Column: 2017 The Year of Brexit

First of all, let me start by wishing every reader a happy New Year. I hope you all had a lovely, relaxing Christmas with family and friends and I hope 2017 brings you much happiness. Christmas was a busy time for me, I moved house locally very near my constituency office and it was wonderful to be in my new home ready for Christmas.

Looking back, 2016 was an incredible year for politics, locally and nationally.

Locally, I have personally worked on 1,600 different cases over the past year, exploring varied issues surrounding my constituents. As well as working on casework I have also visited 40 local businesses and held 60 surgeries over 2016, to meet and keep in touch with the wonderful community of Morley and Outwood.

Nationally, 2016 was the year of Brexit.

Undoubtedly, the year’s most significant development for British politics was the EU referendum. On the 23rd of June Britain voted to Leave the institution, and set a new path of prosperity towards the future.

Before the referendum, I campaigned vigorously to Leave. I took part in TV debates and I was regional coordinator for Vote Leave in Yorkshire. Personally, I felt that EU bureaucracy had sapped our nation’s right to control its borders, laws, budgets and trade.

When, on the 24th of June, the result became apparent that the majority of the Yorkshire and Humber region as well as the rest of the Nation had voted to Leave, I was incredibly proud and excited.

We would be able to forge a new future, a future that brings the country together and joins us all in working towards a successful, outward looking, free-trading Britain.

In Westminster, following the referendum, a Select Committee for exiting the EU was established. I knew this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of our withdrawal process, so I campaigned to be a member.

I was elected and since then, I have been able to question witnesses such as John Longworth from Leave Means Leave and the Brexit Secretary David Davis. Their testimonies, as well as the positive news that businesses continue to believe in the strength of the British economy by providing investment and employment opportunities, indicate that Brexit will be a successful project.

In addition to the select committee and also in Westminster, I had the opportunity to analyse and debate countless and varied topics, from business policy, to health, to education and foreign policy. I was able to present issues directly facing my constituents to the House and call Ministers to action in order to resolve problems facing you, the people of Morley and Outwood.

Having visited 13 schools this past year and seeing the great work they do, I was delighted at being able to support them by asking the Schools Minister on curriculum and grading issues that head-teachers and school Governors had raised with me personally. Holding the Government to account on issues that affect my constituents is an essential responsibility, and it is a responsibility I take great pride in doing.

Looking forward, 2017 is already shaping up to be another exciting year for Britain. I look forward to seeing Article 50 invoked before the end of March and as a member of the Brexit Select Committee, I will scrutinise this process closely to make sure the democratic referendum result is upheld. For businesses, I am looking forward to seeing the benefits that lower business rates as announced in the Autumn Statement will bring. I will continue visiting local businesses as part of my ‘On the Shop Floor’ campaign, to make sure that they are being supported.

If you ever have an issue you would like to raise with me, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Thank you for reading.