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‘Terrorists wish to divide us. We must ensure they fail.’ says Crawley Lib Dem candidate

Khalil Yousuf, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Crawley has written an open letter following the terrorist attack in London.

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The horrific terror attack in London on Friday 29 November has cast a dark shadow on us all.  The victims who gave their lives, the families and friends who have lost their loved ones, the heroic members of the public and valiant emergency services who battled hatred and violence to save more innocent lives are shining examples of what it means to be British. I grieve with them all and condemn this atrocity and others that have come before it in the strongest possible terms.

Some might have you believe that Britishness is defined by our race, our religion or belief or our background. It is not.  It is defined by our values, of tolerance, respect, unity, liberty, equality, democracy and the rule of law. These are at the heart of what it means to be British.

Hate is a disease.  It has no religion, no foundation, no justification.  It is criminality of the highest order which at its root seeks to deceitfully create division between cultures and communities across the country and across this town, at any cost. 

Over the coming days, you will hear calls for unity.  But you might also hear an unpleasant sometimes politically driven rhetoric which fans the flames of hatred as it seeks to divide communities (including in Crawley) and elsewhere for political ends.  When you see it or hear it, I ask you to reject it.

If we allow ourselves to be divided, to point the blame of one person’s criminality at the door of a community, a culture or a religion, we hand victory to the terrorists because it is precisely the destruction of our way of life that they seek to achieve. They want to change us, to anger and divide otherwise peaceful and harmonious communities and to use that very anger they create to justify more terror. We must not let them succeed.  We must immunise ourselves from the politics of hate and fear wherever it comes from. Our anger must be directed at guilty criminals not innocent communities and instead of allowing us to become divided, we must come together as a united nation, stronger and more unified than ever.

As a mark of respect for the victims, families, friends and all those who have been affected by this terror attack, the Liberal Democrats in Crawley did not campaign on Saturday 30 November 2019.

I ask everyone to join me in condemning extremism, terrorism and the politics of hate in every form and from every source.  The strength and unity of our town and indeed our nation depends on it.

Khalil Yousuf
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate, Crawley.

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Brexit and a vaccine

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about Brexit and the new Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

As the UK entered the New Year it did so having finally delivered what Crawley and the country voted for in the Brexit referendum almost half a decade previously.

Last week I voted for the European Union (Future Relationship) Act which allows the British Government to implement and ratify the agreements secured between the UK and the EU.

With no role for the European Court of Justice and no requirements for the UK to continue to follow EU law, and no more payments of billions of pounds to Brussels, we fulfil one of the key aims of Brexit, which is to secure this country’s political and economic independence. This means, of course, that our laws are determined by elected politicians in the United Kingdom who are accountable to the British people.

Britain’s commitment to maintaining high labour, environment and climate standards now ensure we do not give the EU any say over our rules.

In areas such as the living wage, entitlements to sick pay, parental leave and annual leave, UK policy already goes further than EU requirements.

The Future Relationship Act represents the largest free trade agreement in history, not only allowing the UK full access to the EU but also the ability to strike trade deals globally, following recent agreements already signed with countries including Japan, Canada and Turkey.

Looking ahead to 2021; it is welcome that the start of the year has seen the roll-out of the UK-developed University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination.

On Monday the NHS began administering over half a million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, with 100 million doses secured in total. This is part of a national vaccination programme alongside the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, which has already seen more people inoculated in the UK than the rest of Europe put together. Indeed Great Britain was first globally by several weeks in delivering COVID-19 vaccines to its citizens.

The Government’s plan to roll out vaccinations as swiftly as possible is well underway, with 1,000 vaccination sites up and running by the end of the week.

With this further welcome news on the vaccine we can see an end to the blight of Covid in sight. These are still challenging times but global Britain will deliver in 2021.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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