Out and About in Mid-Beds
Posted Monday, 31 October 2016 at 14:18
Another busy day in the constituency on Friday. After the stuffy committee rooms and gloomy corridors of Westminster it’s always a pleasure to get back to the real world.
First up was a meeting with a large group of farmers, kindly organised by the NFU. They briefed me on their concerns about rural crime with some truly horrific examples that had happened to them personally.
We are making progress on this issue. Just two weeks ago the other Bedfordshire MPs and I had a meeting with the Police Minister to press him on our case for changes to the funding formula. It isn’t right that Beds Police are funded as a small, rural force when they have serious and diverse challenges, not least an international airport.
We then discussed Brexit. During the referendum campaign I lost count of how many times people told me that farmers would vote en masse for Remain, because they want the subsidies. I thought at the time this was wrong. All but one of the farmers in our meeting on Friday couldn’t wait to get out the door and see the back of the intrusive bureaucracy that comes with our EU membership.
On to the next meeting in Ampthill. My constituent Ben is running a campaign on behalf of our local mental health service provider called Break the Stigma. This is such an important issue, none of us will be without friends or family members who at some time will have experiences a mental health problem. The ongoing stigma can prevent people seeking help and, ultimately, cost lives.
Barely had I gulped down my tea in the snug, welcoming and award-winning Cakestand and Crumb (please do stop by if you’re in the area) before I was off to a local manufacturer to talk more about Brexit.
Neil at Colpac is a straight-talking model of an upstanding businessman. He cares for his customers and his employees as a way to build his business. And it is thriving. Neil told me that he diversified his customer base long before the referendum and doesn’t rely on domestic or EU business. Colpac now has customers all over the world including, most recently, Japan and China.
Companies like Colpac rely on an educated and multi-national workforce. I would never vote for a Brexit deal that threatens the rights of EU citizens already working in this country, just as I hope our nationals elsewhere in Europe will be protected. Brexit is about stepping up to the challenges of the globalised world, not shutting ourselves off from it.
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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