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Henry Smith MP: Getting Brexit done, supporting schools and backing our NHS

In his article this week Henry Smith MP talks Brexit, education and health.

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I often receive messages from Crawley residents – those who voted Leave, and those who voted Remain – who tell me that we need to end the Brexit uncertainty and leave the European Union without delay.

The likes of Jeremy Corbyn, and other leftist party leaders such as Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon, seek to prolong the uncertainty, by delaying or even stopping Brexit, which would cost the UK roughly £1 billion a month net in EU membership.

Their Surrender Bill seeks to require the Prime Minister to ‘immediately’ accept any Brexit delay sought by the EU, irrespective of conditions that may be imposed.

As Parliament is blocking the Prime Minister’s promise to the nation to take Britain out by 31st October, the only solution is a general election – which is also being blocked by the opposition out of fear of what the people will say.

While they seek to overturn the will of the people, this week in Parliament I joined the Prime Minister in the House of Commons division lobby to vote for an early election to get Brexit done.

Last week I also questioned the Education Secretary about the increase to school funding, and asked the Health & Social Care Secretary about innovative genomic medicine which will benefit cancer patients in the decade ahead.

I additionally raised the importance of ensuring that the extra cash for frontline NHS services results in enhanced GP provision and reduced waiting times.

As well as this, I led and secured a parliamentary debate calling for greater involvement of patients in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

There is huge potential for AI to transform the lives of those living with heart and circulatory diseases, including some 11,000 people in Crawley. It is vital that those affected are included fully in discussions about the development and adoption of these new technologies.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Stronger sentences for cruelty to animals

In his article this week Henry Smith MP talks about stronger sentences for cruelty to animals.

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Henry Smith MP

When I’m out and about listening to people in Crawley, one issue which tends to unite those usually on differing sides of the political spectrum is the necessity to increase the punishment for those who hurt animals needlessly.

Recently in Westminster I was pleased to meet with Battersea – the dog and cat rescue centre – to reiterate my support for Government proposals to extend the current maximum penalty for animal cruelty offences, specified under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, tenfold from six months imprisonment to five years.

This change would provide the justice system with the flexibility to treat the most shocking acts of animal cruelty much more seriously than it can at present. 

At Battersea’s event alongside a host of other MPs, we signed the organisation’s pledge board to highlight the strength of parliamentary support on this issue.

The Government already has a strong record on animal welfare and protection of animals. From the introduction of mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses – a campaign I led in Parliament – to banning the use of wild animals in travelling circuses, it is right that action has been taken.

Other measures I have supported have been the introduction of the world’s toughest bans on ivory sales to help stop the poaching of elephants, and the banning of commercial third party sales of puppies and kittens in England to end the terrible welfare conditions found in puppy farming.

I was pleased to serve as Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Animal Welfare in both the 2015 and 2017 parliaments. As Groups such as this one are in the process of being reconstituted following the General Election in December, I look forward to playing my part in this APPG’s work in the months and years ahead.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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