Archive | February, 2019

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BLOG: Time for the Prime Minister to reach out to all MPs to stop a disastrous No Deal Brexit

Brexit is by far the biggest and most divisive single issue to have arisen in British Politics in my political lifetime. 

I am often reminded by voters that ‘the people voted out’ and indeed, in Chesterfield around 60% of voters backed Leave, I accept that the Referendum vote can’t be ignored. 

When I stood for re-election in the 2017 ’snap’ election, I was clear about what a vote for me meant. I would respect the Referendum result but I would hold the Government to deliver on the promises Leave voters were made during that referendum.  

In simple terms that means continued trade with European nations, control of immigration and the ability to attract world class talent.  

It was always going to be the case that the final EU deal would leave many dissatisfied, but these are the key tests that I think would be a fair delivery of the Brexit vote. Labour’s proposed deal would do just that, with permanent membership of the Customs Union, but control of immigration restored.  

And whilst a no-deal Brexit might open opportunities to sign Free Trade deals with other countries these would leave us with a huge immediate deficit if it came at the cost of our current EU free trade deal, and each of those new trade deals would likely come with their own pitfalls. No US trade deal would be completed until US Healthcare giants could get their claws on to our NHS for sure. 

Since the General Election, the issue of Northern Ireland and achieving a Brexit deal that is compliant with the UK’s commitments in the Good Friday Agreement has also moved to centre stage. Membership of the Customs Union would at least alleviate the trade concerns. 

I have had huge numbers of letters on Brexit from all shades of opinion. But I worry that we are moving further away from consensus.  

I think if Labour’s Brexit deal is supported there will be no need for a second referendum. Labour’s deal is not so far removed from what most Leave voters expected nor would it push us towards the catastrophe of WTO Terms 

However, Jeremy Corbyn this week suggested that if we fail to convince Parliament of the need to support a deal in line with the one I have outlined, that he would support the Prime Minister’s deal being put to the British people for ratification. 

also declined to vote to extend Article 50 as sometimes deadlines are helpful in focusing minds, and reaching an agreement. I hope that the Prime Minister will allow Parliament to vote on Labour’s deal but if that and all other options fall we may be forced to delay leaving the EU, which I know would be a huge frustration to many.  

However, I also reject the second most regular suggestion- that a Leave vote meant moving to WTO terms on trade with EuropeMany Leave campaigners promised during the Referendum campaign that trade would be unaffected and the consequences of leaving the EU without a deal would include huge tariffs on all imported food averaging at 22%. Even worse, tariffs on dairy products for example are 35%. We import over 30% of all the beef, pork and lamb we consume and 39% of all fruit.  

I am aware that many people have simply switched off from the whole issue and just want it over. They want politicians to work together, but firstly there needs to be agreement on what the ultimate objective should be. I believe there is a majority in the House of Commons for delivering on the Brexit vote without the damage of leaving without a deal, I hope the Prime Minister reaches out to those members across the house who will approve a deal of this sort.  

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Toby with keen gardeners Brian Bailey and Eric Loe

Chesterfield has received trees to plant as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy

 

Toby with keen gardeners Brian Bailey and Eric Loe

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has joined over 500 other MPs to plant trees as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a network of forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

The trees – two silver birch, two rowan, and a hazel – were planted at the Ashgate Road allotment.

They were donated to Toby Perkins thanks to a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV, who screened a landmark documentary, The Queen’s Green Planet.

At the heart of the film was a conversation between the Queen and Sir David Attenborough talking informally about climate change and trees.

In support of the programme the Woodland Trust provided 50,000 trees for ITV viewers, and via the Rt Hon Frank Field MP, who conceived the QCC initiative, also offered a special commemorative pack to every MP in the UK.

Woodland Trust Chief Executive Beccy Speight said: “We are delighted so many MPs have decided to join us in our bid to plant trees. They are crucial in improving soil health and water quality, reducing carbon, trapping pollutants, slowing the flow of flood water, providing a home for wildlife or a space for us to breathe. I hope the residents of Chesterfield will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.”

 

Toby said “I was very happy to receive the tree saplings as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy and Woodland Trust initiative and was delighted to present them to the Ashgate Road allotment, which has undergone some impressive improvements in recent times. The trees have been well placed by dedicated gardeners on ‘Brian’s bank’ and I will be returning with interest to see how well they have grown. We don’t always fully appreciate how important trees are to the environment, to biodiversity and the well-being of people, so this initiative goes a small way to increase awareness and tree population.”

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Derbyshire distillery Feb 2019

Chesterfield is the place to be for gin enthusiasts

Chesterfield is proving the place to be for gin enthusiasts, as Derbyshire Distillery expand due to a high demand for their crafted spirits. Their success story was shared with local MP Toby Perkins, who was impressed to learn about their expansion plans.

Experienced brewer David Hemstock has joined the increasingly popular gin market by producing a range of premium quality products using both state of the art and traditional copper alembic stills. The distillery is the first commercial distillery in Chesterfield and was set up in 2018. The products use the best local and International ingredients and fresh, cool Derbyshire water.

Toby said “I am always pleased to learn about local business successes and Derbyshire Distillery have captured the demand for discerning gin drinkers with a master blend and a couple of well flavoured editions. I wish them every success for their expansion and I am delighted to see that Chesterfield is well and truly on the map as a source of top quality drink brands.”

 More information about Derbyshire Distillery can be found at https://www.derbyshiredistillery.com/

 

 

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Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield, announces support for Government campaign to recruit more adult social care workers locally

Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield has joined MPs across the UK in supporting a national recruitment campaign, from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), to address the 110,000 vacancies in adult social care across England.

Running across February and March, the campaign aims to fill the sector’s recruitment gap and support local recruitment activity by increasing interest in adult social care as a career choice and driving awareness of the variety of roles available. The national campaign will comprise social media, digital and local radio advertising, events and media relations across England.

“I fully support this campaign and am looking forward to seeing its impact on the number of vacancies in Chesterfield.”

“By helping local employers recruit people with the right personal values for care work, our communities will be better supported by highly motivated and skilled workers. If you think a career in adult social care could be for you, or someone you know, visit the campaign website www.everydayisdifferent.com for more information on what it means to work in adult social care.”

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

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