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Henry Smith

Crawley MP re-elected parliamentary Blood Cancer group chair

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Crawley MP Henry Smith has been unanimously re-elected as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer.

The APPG will continue its work to increase awareness of blood cancer and improve care and support for all those affected, following the meeting on Monday 3rd July which officially restarts the group following last month’s general election.

Launched last year, the Group began its first inquiry into blood cancer care in the NHS in March 2017. Following a call for evidence, the Group has received written submissions and will be holding oral evidence sessions in the coming months.

 Henry said; 

“I’m delighted to be joined by Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Democratic Unionist Party colleagues from both the Commons and the Lords as we continue to stand up for blood cancer patients and identify ways where we can do better for patients and their support networks. 

“This is an important issue and one which has affected my own family and others in Crawley, I remain grateful to those locally who have shared their own family experiences with me.”

Blood cancer is a complex and often misunderstood clinical area. Despite low awareness, blood cancer is actually the third biggest cancer killer, with 38,000 people diagnosed each year. There are a total of 230,000 people in the UK living with a blood cancer, which includes the many times of leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma as well as several other less common types.

The APPG inquiry will gain expert opinion from patients, clinicians, researchers and NHS staff to establish what is currently working well in blood cancer care, where there are gaps in services, and where policy makers and healthcare professionals need to target their efforts to improve the lives of patients.

Oral evidence sessions with clinical experts will be held after the summer parliamentary recess with the full report published before the end of the year.

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Henry Smith

Crawley MP Henry Smith condemns Brexit uncertainty

Henry Smith MP has spoken out against the uncertainty and democratic damage of Brexit not being delivered and in Parliament last week called for the instruction given by the people of Crawley and the UK to leave the EU not to be delayed beyond 29th March 2019.

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Speaking in the House Of Commons on Friday 15th Feb, Mr Smith partook in a debate and made his strong feeling very clear.

Here are some of the highlights of what he said:

“It’s been three years since the Brexit referendum was called. With exit day of 29th March only weeks away, I urge the Prime Minister to take a robust approach to the continued negotiations with the EU.

“One of the biggest reasons for the current uncertainty is the continued calls for another vote of the people. Crawley residents – and indeed voters across the UK – have already spoken clearly and it’s up to the Government to carry out their will.

“The previous day I asked Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions for assurances over our departure on the date set out in law of 29th March 2019 – the people’s Brexit must not be denied.”

He then followed it up about Crawley itself:

“The message I get is as follows. Just the other day, I was walking down Tilgate shopping parade in my constituency, and as is typically the case, someone came up to me and wanted to know about the current Brexit debate in Parliament.

“They said, “Why aren’t we getting on with the decision we made two and a half years ago?” That is a compelling argument.”

Mr Smith continued on the subject of Brexit uncertainty and the countries relationship with Europe:

“We have heard this afternoon calls for a so-called people’s vote. I would argue that we had a people’s vote in 2016. We have also heard calls for an extension of article 50, to delay our departure from the European Union.

“We have heard from those Members concern about the uncertainty of Brexit. The one thing that will maintain uncertainty is questioning the democratic decision that was taken by holding a second referendum.

“That would certainly do a lot to damage our democracy and prolong uncertainty, as would a delay to article 50, and that is before we even get into the issues of whether the remaining 27 members of the EU would allow article 50 to be extended and, if article 50 were to be extended beyond July, of EU elections.”

“Yes, we absolutely should be seeking and honouring a deep and close relationship with our neighbours and allies in Europe, but the trouble with a customs union, which Labour Members advocate, is that it would prevent us from doing the global free trade deals that, in a world that is getting smaller, are key to our prosperity.

“The key to this country’s future prosperity is our unique global links, and being a conduit for that thanks to our proximity to Europe. We must be robust in the ongoing negotiations, and I support the Prime Minister in continuing them.

“I have never known an EU negotiation that did not go down to the last moment, and I therefore remain optimistic about our future. For goodness’ sake, we should be more optimistic as a House and country, because our best years are ahead.” r

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