This is my last column before Christmas, so I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
I was incredibly disappointed to see MPs vote to amend the European Union Withdrawal Bill last week. I voted against amendment 7, as I felt giving parliament a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal would severely impact the Government’s negotiations in Brussels. I did not want to undermine the Prime Minister as she enters the second, crucial phase of negotiations to organise our exit from the European Union, and I believe this amendment was simply a process to delay the eventuality of our exit from that Union.
Moving forward, I was privileged enough to be elected by my colleagues on to the Exiting the European Union Select Committee for this new Parliament, and I will continue to scrutinise the process of our exit from the EU. I want to eliminate the stumbling blocks when it comes to our departure, and make sure we continue to respect the referendum result voted for by the British people in June, 2016.
Last week the Education Secretary, Justine Greening, announced plans to boost social mobility through education. She announced target action that will focus £800 million of Government investment on communities that feel they have been left behind.
Having been to a comprehensive school when I grew up and having taught in them prior to becoming an MP, social mobility is a passion of mine and it is something I have explored since becoming an MP. I co-authored a report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Mobility that makes clear that there is still lots to do in order for young people to have equal opportunities and truly realise their potential.
The Report highlights the need for adequate career advice, paid internships and work experience opportunities. These are key themes I have stressed are important, both through my own Office conduct, on my visits to local schools and through my work on the Education APPG.
I welcomed Justine’s announcement, and will continue working to make sure the policies raised by her announcement and the Social Mobility APPG report are realised.
If you would like to read the APPG report, you may do so here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/labourclp269/pages/941/attachments/original/1484611647/APPG_Report_-_Access_to_Leading_Professions_Inquiry.pdf?1484611647.
Thank you for reading and, as ever, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me here: https://www.andreajenkyns.co.uk/contact-andrea.