Mp’s column: Taking back control of laws

Education is one of the most important foundations for Britain’s future success, and I was very pleased to visit Benjamin Adlard Primary School in Gainsborough recently. This school was once ranked the twenty-ninth worst in all England, but now under a new head it has been turned around.

The latest Ofsted report marked it ‘Good’ and it continues to go from success to success. It just goes to show what good inspired leadership can achieve.

By any measure the Scampton Air Show was a huge success. Over the course of the weekend more than 50,000 visitors took part in this great festival of the skies.

Doubtless many had been aficionados of the Waddington airshow that started in 1995. When security issues meant RAF Waddington was no longer available, I lobbied hard for the airshow to be brought to RAF Scampton here in my constituency. Scampton, after all, is the home of the Red Arrows who provide so much publicity for the Royal Air Force.

Lincolnshire is a county with a long and strong heritage of flying and the RAF and it’s a great pleasure to see this legacy continuing, as well as drawing huge crowds into our county’s economy.

Many constituents have written to me regarding Brexit.

I can reassure Brexit supporters that there is absolutely no way the Government will back out of its commitment to fulfil the wish of the British people and to enact the result of last year’s referendum.

Brexit is fully on track and anyone who thinks otherwise is unfortunately disconnected from the political reality.

For those Remainers who are concerned that the Great Repeal Bill is a giant power grab made worse by a lack of parliamentary scrutiny, I have a certain amount of sympathy.

The ability of parliament – especially backbenchers – to scrutinise the exercise of power by the executive is one of the cornerstones of our Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. But the EU Withdrawal Bill merely puts on a domestic legal basis all the European laws and directives which are already currently in place. It does not introduce anything new into our legal setup.

Why were the critics not so vocal when all these laws were being made in Brussels and Strasbourg? EU laws and directives are mostly agreed in backroom deals and rubber-stamped by the European Parliament with effectively zero oversight by our democratically accountable representatives here in Westminster.

Leaving the European Union means we will have control over our own laws. The future of this country will be shaped by the British parliament, and if voters don’t like what governments do they can chuck them out at the next general election.

We do want to part as friends, however, and Britain will always remain a European country.

It is, however, much more than that, and I hope we will explore mutually beneficial links to the great English-speaking nations across the seas like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. We have a common history and, I hope, a common future.

Sire Edward Leigh MP

Gainsborough Constituency