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Henry Smith

Crawley MP Henry Smith statement on backing the PM in todays vote

In his statement, Henry Smith MP says that despite his reservations he cannot take the risk that Brexit will not be delivered.

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Henry Smith MP 29th March 2019 Brexit Statement

In 2016 I was proud to lead the Vote Leave EU membership referendum campaign in Crawley because I believe our country’s future relies on us being a global nation, utilising Britain’s unique world links and being a conduit to Europe given the UK’s close geographical proximity. This is what I want for my children’s future.

Furthermore, throughout my long political involvement and service in elected public office, I have always campaigned for our sovereign independence against the Treaty of Rome’s mission of ‘ever closer union’ which has led to an increasingly centralising, undemocratic and protectionist EU, against the interests of British people.

Despite the establishment’s might and resources campaigning for a remain vote, including spending over twice as much and using taxpayers’ money through the machinery of government, leave won by the largest number of votes ever in UK polling history. British common sense and an optimism rejected fear and negativity. In 2017 the referendum result was confirmed in a General Election where 589 of those MPs returned to Parliament did so on promises to deliver Brexit. 

In 2017 and 2018, both Lisbon Treaty Article 50 notification to exit and the EU Withdrawal Act were passed with significant majorities in the House of Commons. 

However, a largely remain-biased Government has regrettably seen Britain’s departure from the EU as a problem to be mitigated, rather than an opportunity to seize a global future internationally and a democratic rejuvenation domestically. Our advantage of the EU having a trade surplus with us and heavily relying on net UK subscriptions, as well as British security reliance, has slowly and meekly been fettered away during the negotiations.

With Britain’s position ceded, a remain-dominant Parliament, hypocritically contrary to many MPs’ manifesto promises, has taken advantage of the weak UK Government negotiating stance, steadily and increasingly successfully seeking to frustrate and even threaten Brexit altogether.

By law, the Prime Minister could have delivered Brexit on time, today – 29th March. With lack of will she has sadly sought further delay and uncertainty.

I have consistently said that I would not support a delay to extension day and I was proudly one of 105 MPs who voted this way on 27th March. However it is clear that the EU, and sadly a significant number of UK MPs, are seeking to take Brexit away from us.

Under duress, the invidious choice I now face as an individual MP, and given my views are a minority one in this remain-dominated Parliament, is either to risk Brexit being delivered altogether – and betray the majority democratic choice of 17.4 million electors – or accept a withdrawal agreement which, however poorly drafted, would at least mean we legally leave the EU before the summer and prevents a long extension, which in reality means Brexit lost. 

I resent the choice presented to me, but more so to the British people. Whether engineered deliberately or by hapless leadership, it is a decision I must make. I choose, therefore, to see the UK’s EU exit legally delivered, uncertainty of long extension or no Brexit removed, and a chance for stronger direction as we go forward.

Henry Smith MP

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Poppy Appeal 2020

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith looks to raise awareness of the importance of continuing support for the Royal British Legion:

Throughout the course of this year we have seen so many aspects of day-to-day life affected by COVID-19, with few being more poignant than the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

With the pandemic impacting some of the more traditional and familiar ways we remember, I am keen to raise awareness of how we can continue to support the Royal British Legion in a safe and socially distant manner.

  • Poppies in the Post: The Royal British Legion’s website allows you to request 20 poppies free of charge, which can be distributed to friends and neighbours. Many of the volunteers who usually distribute more than 40 million poppies annually are unable to do so this year, so we are being asked to step in to support the Armed Forces community and ensure their contribution to our country is not forgotten. Please remember to make a donation to the Royal British Legion after requesting your poppies.
  • Printable Poppy: Unfortunately, large scale gatherings at the Cenotaph in London, at memorials across Crawley and around the country to pay our respects will be restricted to a smaller number of representatives. The Royal British Legion have therefore launched the Printable Poppy – an A4 poster which can be displayed at home, perhaps in the front window – for us to show our support.
  • My Poppy Run: A further consequence of COVID-19 are the changes to the My Poppy Run events which are usually held in October and November. Due to social distancing, these are taking place virtually, with participants being able to run, jog or walk while raising money.
  • Visit the local supermarket: The Royal British Legion have confirmed that supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda, in addition to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, as well as Lloyds Bank and Santander are supporting the 2020 Poppy Appeal. Each location has a number of cashless donation options, and Morrisons and Sainsbury’s offer customers an option to add a donation to their shopping bill.
  • Poppy Shop: With products ranging from poppy pins and jewellery, to clothing, stationery and homeware, 100 per cent of profits from the Poppy Shop go towards the Royal British Legion’s work to support the Armed Forces community.
  • Donate online or by text: The Legion’s website allows supporters to make a donation online, or by sending a text message to donate £2, £5 or £10.

While the ways our country reflects and remembers will undoubtedly feel different, the message remains the same. The sense of duty of all in the Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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