Dominic Raab, Conservative MP for Esher & Walton, discusses the future of Brexit and the Government's recent announcement about Heathrow expansion in an exclusive article for the Molesey Conservatives.
Two big national issues will affect all Molesey residents. While the recent High Court ruling has created some additional uncertainty, it’s only a bump in the road. It won’t derail Brexit. In March, the government will begin two years of negotiations with the EU. Meanwhile, our economy continues to defy the referendum predictions of doom, with manufacturing and employment posting further growth. The IMF now predicts Britain will be the fastest growing economy in the G7 this year.
Looking towards our future relationship with the EU, the government is working towards maintaining the free trade we currently enjoy. However, should the EU demand imposition of trade barriers, the UK retains some key advantages. Our exporters have already been boosted by the weakening of the pound, and are now in a much stronger position to compete internationally. Also, any tariffs that the EU imposes would, presumably, be reciprocated by the UK government. This would bring in around £12bn to the UK coffers annually, and could be used to support vulnerable business sectors.
Now, the UK must work up a positive offer to our continental friends. We should aim for a continuation of barrier free trade, stronger co-operation on security matters and sensible reciprocal arrangements on visas and visa-waiver. If we approach Brexit with a positive and constructive mindset, we can secure a strong deal. Brexit Britain will be a modern, dynamic and global player – and the country can go from strength to strength.
Beyond Brexit, the government has announced proposals to expand Heathrow airport. There is a compelling economic case, based on increasing long haul passenger and freight connections, to strengthen the UK’s international competitiveness. The government also announced a mitigation package of measures to safeguard air quality and protect local communities from disproportionate noise levels. Working with our energetic Molesey team of Conservatives, I will spend the months ahead nailing down the detail of specific assurances for Elmbridge. There is an opportunity to reduce current noise levels that we must grasp.