WATCH: "We Want Our Country Back"

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Your update from Catherine 33


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Dear Reader,

What a mad world we’re living in – I only have to look away from the television for two minutes and something else happens to pull the rug from beneath our feet.

 

In fact, as I write this now, I have just heard the news that Stephen Phillips, MP for Sleaford & North Hykeham, has resigned over fears this government weren’t bringing home the Brexit. How he came to that conclusion I’m not sure but I’m sure more will be revealed in the coming days.

Of course, the big news this week is that the High Court has ruled Theresa May must put invoking Article 50 to a vote in parliament (read more below) – this was a happy day for us Remain campaigners – what a victory for democracy!


Witney success builds strong foundation for Richmond campaign

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Wow! What a fantastic result in Witney – huge congratulations to Liz and the team she had working around her – what a fun and invigorating campaign to be part of.

Richmond Park residents voted by a huge margin – 69% to Remain in and they are being cheated by their deluded MP Zac Goldsmith. We need to build a campaign that shows lifelong Tories we are their natural home now – we are the real opposition to hard Brexit in government and we need a strong MP like Sarah to add to our team.

So please, please join me on the campaign trail.


Fond memories of Sarah Smith

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I was so sorry to hear the loss of Sarah Smith, former PPC for Dover and Deal. I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah in the run up to the 2014 elections and the 2015 general election.

What an energetic and inspirational campaigner she was – I’m so incredibly saddened for her family, friends and those in our Lib Dem family that had built up strong relationships with her.

I hope many of us can learn from the courage and determination Sarah showed when diagnosed with her illness.

 

Canadian deal shows UK trade agreement with EU won't be as easy as pie

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I'm delighted the EU's trade deal with Canada, CETA, has finally been ratified.

While the deal is certainly not perfect I believe the potential benefits far outweigh the costs. 

But the process has been arduous – it has taken over seven years and nearly fell at the last hurdle when a region in Belgium, Wallonia, wouldn’t sign. It became almost farcical – Justin Trudeau was all ready to board his flight and had to cancel when news came through of the delay.

But are we surprised? Trade deals are complex beasts and it is right they are hammered out and fine-tuned t

Brexit, depending on the form it takes, may well mean the UK must negotiate a trade deal with Canada from scratch – meaning years and years of missed economic benefits and upheaval for our companies that will have just begun to reap the rewards from CETA.

I wonder how much Mrs May is really prepared to risk.


Calais camp closures offer an opportunity for the UK to play full role

It was with mixed feelings that I met the news the closure of the ‘jungle’ in Calais had begun in earnest.

On the one hand I think it is absolutely abhorrent the way in which the French authorities have gone about shutting it down and the language they have been using, but, on the other hand, I think we must make progress and hoarding vulnerable refugees in Calais in the most squalid conditions is not the answer.

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The Leave campaign was all about ‘taking back control’ – yet I don’t think any of the people who voted leave meant to hand the control solely to an unelected Prime Minister.

In the European Parliament I will have a vote and will take part in the debates on the Brexit process and it is only right that our MPs do too. 

Theresa May may well appeal the Supreme Court decision, showing a lack of regard for parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law. - it is quite correct in a representative democracy that the elected representatives have a role in the future of the country. 

We live in very interesting and rapidly changing political times, sticking to the rule of law has never been more necessary.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Richmond as we fight the second by election of the year, with another great woman candidate.


Yours,


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Catherine Bearder MEP

 


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