MP’s Column: Protecting UK economy

Sir Edward Leigh MP
Sir Edward Leigh MP

As we forge a new working relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU, we will be protecting and augmenting the rights of working people here in Britain.

We Conservatives do not want to turn the UK into a bargain-basement economy by lowering standards.

We want workers rights here to be gold-standard, and the same for environmental protections and the quality of food and goods available to consumers.

In the Commons I have urged the Government to be absolutely clear that when it comes to these important safeguards the voters demand that we are absolutely top notch in the world and that lessening standards is off the table.

Something we must also avoid, and which I know too much of, is just throwing taxpayers’ money into a giant bottomless pit of spending.

We can’t just promise more and more money – what we need to do is deliver outcomes.

As an NHS user, what I care about is the availability of an appointment or operation and getting good treatment on time. If we can promote private sector solutions that deliver more efficiency in the NHS, why not?

Some on the opposition benches predict we won’t be able to get a free trade deal with the EU in time before the transition period runs out.

But we have the advantage of beginning from exactly the same starting point. We already have the same rules, regulations, and tariffs as the member states of the EU.

What is absolutely intolerable is the idea of signing up to a deal which says that forevermore we have to follow rules made by another jurisdiction in which we have no say.

That is why I am opposed to remaining in some sort of single market or customs union, and I support the Government’s rejection of these options.

We are a country open to the world but keen to be in charge of our own house with the full ability to put our affairs in order as we see fit.

I urged the Chancellor recently to learn some lessons from the past.

I have sat through I think as many as forty budgets and most have been unimpressive, looking only to the next day’s headlines.

One budget that really did impress was Nigel Lawson’s in 1988, because he had a real vision of a lower tax economy.

As Lawson put it: “The economics are simple. If you reward enterprise, you get more of it.”

We need to let workers, individuals, and small business owners keep as much of the money they earn as possible.

Sir Edward Leigh MP

Gainsborough Constituency