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Henry Smith

Henry Smith: Our commitment to the environment

In his weekly article Henry talks about plastic waste and the environment.

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This week saw further action as part of plans to secure a Green Brexit upon this country’s departure from the European Union.

A consultation has been published on the Environmental Principles & Governance Bill. The legislation will ensure environmental protections will not be weakened as we leave the EU, as well as establishing a world-leading body to hold government to account for environmental outcomes.

This organisation will support the commitment for us to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than that in which we inherited it. It will also provide scrutiny and advice on the protection of landscapes, wildlife and natural assets, and would be able to hold government accountable on environmental legislation. Anyone looking to have their say in this consultation can click here to take part. Crawley residents would be most welcome to copy me in on any submission.

Earlier this year, a ban on the manufacture of products containing plastic microbeads, which can do serious damage to marine life, came into force. As a result of UK action, manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care items will no longer be able to add these pieces of plastic to ‘rinse-off’ products such as shower gels and toothpastes. This is an issue I’ve raised previously with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons and I welcome the Government’s attention.

Recently, the Environment Secretary announced plans for a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates and reduce the volumes of waste polluting our land and seas.

Of the 13 billion plastic drinks bottles used each year by UK consumers, more than three billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment.

A further change which we’ve noticed when doing the weekly shop is the 5 pence plastic bag charge. The result of this has been 9 billion fewer plastic bags used since the charge was introduced in 2015. Marine life around our shores is safer and there are fewer plastic bags going into landfill sites.

As a result of UK leadership on the global stage, last month’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London saw countries from around the world join the UK-led Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance. This agreement is being backed up with a £61 million package of funding to boost global research and help prevent plastic waste from entering the oceans in the first place.

There’s more to be done and I’ll continue to pursue the concerns of Crawley residents with the Government.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

Henry Smith

Crawley MP speaks out ahead of no confidence vote

With the debate raging on in the House Of Commons, the local MP Henry Smith have spoken out about why he voted against the PM’s deal and how he will be voting tonight.

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Henry Smith says:

Having listened carefully to the House of Commons debate regarding the Prime Minister’s UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement, I voted against this deal last night.

That arrangement would actually have ceded sovereignty, particularly through the so-called backstop arrangement, which the UK would not have been able to leave unilaterally. This deal did not deliver the Brexit which a majority of Crawley and national voters wanted in their referendum decision.

Tonight, Parliament will decide whether it has confidence in the Government. I will not vote to risk the progress which has taken place since 2010. Investment in our NHS which has seen services return to Crawley Hospital, with a new long-term plan recently published which will see an extra £394 million a week for our health service, has taken place under the Conservatives.

Employment has hit a record high under this Government and wages are rising at their fastest pace in a decade. While full and permanent jobs account for 75 per cent of employment there is still work to be done to ensure even more people have the security of a regular pay packet.

Throughout his whole political career, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has consistently aided those against the British national interest. I will not give him an opportunity to take these views to Downing Street.

His policies would most hurt those they claim to help; seeing increased taxes, driving wages down and reducing jobs and investment in our country.

Over the last week alone, the Labour Leader failed five times to say whether he would campaign to leave or remain in the European Union.

It should be remembered that over the last three years Parliament has been given its instructions from the British people; the referendum result with a clear decision in favour of leaving the EU, and the last general election where 589 MPs were elected on a pledge to deliver Brexit.

Theresa May’s EU deal was unambitious, but I will not risk the people’s Brexit, so will vote in Parliament tonight in favour of the Conservative Government of economic growth with a record of delivery.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

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