The unexpected winter election already seems like a long time ago, and it was good to be back in North Cornwall for Christmas after a hectic week in Parliament. I enjoyed meeting many new colleagues from around the country and I am really looking forward to working with them over the next five years. The new Conservative majority Government, led by Boris Johnson, was able to fulfil our election pledge of passing the Brexit Withdrawal Bill before Christmas and I was proud to vote in favour on behalf of the electorate of North Cornwall. The passing of the Withdrawal Agreement not only respects the referendum result, but it also respects the view of constituents who were concerned about a potential ‘No-deal’ by offering a smooth transition from EU member state to an equal trading partner. I am very optimistic about the coming year and creating a new relationship with our friends in the EU.
Concluding the Brexit process also gives us the chance to address the local and national priorities which many of you raised with me during the election campaign. This Conservative majority Government will legislate to ensure that sentences for the most violent criminals are served in full, rather than given early release. We will also ensure that our pledge of 20,000 extra police officers on the streets becomes a reality. The six Conservative MPs who represent Cornwall will continue to work hard to make sure Devon & Cornwall Police get our fair share of new officers.
We also have an exciting year ahead of us working towards putting the £450m for new acute NHS services for Cornwall to good use. I am very keen to meet with KCCG in the New Year to discuss this and upgrades to our cottage hospitals such as Launceston, Stratton and Bodmin. The new Conservative majority Government will also bring back the Nursing Bursary and I am keen to continue the work I did in the last Parliament relating to retraining and retention of local NHS staff in Cornwall. I also look forward to voting in favour of the funding guarantee for the NHS – to ensure the extra £33.9 billion per year we are putting into the NHS by 2023 is enshrined in law.
I hope you and your families have had a fantastic Christmas and enjoy a prosperous New Year.