Writing my New Year column is always a difficult task. There are always so many things that happen in the space of twelve months it’s hard to try and pick out highlights. I’m not sure about you but this year November feels like a decade ago, never mind January!
2018 will certainly be a year which will take its place in the history books and provide the history students of tomorrow a tale or two. Brexit has undoubtedly dominated nearly everything we have done this year. And rightfully so. Our membership of the European Union has a huge impact (some positive, some negative) on nearly everything we do, and so the process of leaving was always going to be complex. But complex does not mean impossible and we will be leaving on 29th March 2019. The result of the referendum will be carried through and as your local Member of Parliament I will do everything I can to ensure Brexit is delivered, and done so with the best interests of Halesowen & Rowley Regis at heart.
In so many ways being an MP is like no other job. Spending part of a week in the throes of Westminster’s high drama and participating in the racing pulse of the world’s oldest Parliament, and then the other half of the week here in Halesowen & Rowley Regis where the beating heart of our country really is. I say this because it helps give perspective to the ever rolling 24 hour news we hear about the goings on in Parliament.
The decisions made in Westminster effect all of our lives every day. But our local communities also shape Westminster more than most people think. Every week when visiting a local café, pub, supermarket, business or school I speak with dozens of people who have strong opinions on a wide variety of topics. It’s encouraging to see so many people who genuinely engage with our political process and take an interest. With this comes a huge degree of responsibility too. In 2019 I really hope to see even more people engaging and participating in the discussions we all have on the future of our local communities and country as a whole, but I also hope that these discussions are measured, respectful and polite. Politics can be divisive, but it shouldn’t separate people.
So on that note I’d like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, and a happy, prosperous and peaceful New Year.