We Need to Talk About the Union

Seventy Conservative backbenchers in Westminster have launched a new group in support of “strengthening the Union”. MP for North Devon, Selaine Saxby is a founding committee member of the new Group, which set out its stall in the Sunday Express on Sunday 6th September.

Selaine said:

“I campaigned and was elected on a manifesto which said we would leave the EU – but it also said we would strengthen the Union. This group has been set up to help the government do just that. I am committed to keeping this United Kingdom together. I believe our Union is a force for good – for us and for the world.”

“It is time to talk about the Union. We each have stories about what the United Kingdom means to us – I would love to hear from people what it means to each of them.”

“The question of who we are as a nation is a really important one. Our country has over three hundred years’ history of growth, change and development. That is real strength and makes me optimistic for the challenges we face in the future.”

During the pandemic, North Devon has benefitted from unprecedented support from the UK government, with the initial support form the Furlough schemes to last months ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, which gave a kick start to our tourism industry. That support has been replicated in every corner of the United Kingdom.

Selaine said:

“The full name of the Conservatives is the Conservative and Unionist Party. We are working for the whole of the United Kingdom and have offered support for every part of it. That support is only possible because of our strong economy – an economy that springs from the strength and might of our Union.”

The UK has left the EU and the government is negotiating the terms of future trading relations with the EU. The Transition Period for these negotiations will come to an end on 31st December 2020.

Selaine said:

“The Union is as relevant now as it has ever been throughout our three-hundred-year history. The votes I have cast in the last few months for agriculture, fisheries, international trade and more have all been about who we are as a United Kingdom and our future. This is not nostalgia or backward looking – voters elected me and a Party to shape our place in the world. A strong United Kingdom is at the heart of that vision.”

Parliament returned after the summer recess on the 1st September. One of the first items of business for members is considering a new UK Internal Markets Bill.

Selaine said:

“The economy of the UK is the sixth largest in the world. It is important we keep that strength. We will bring back powers from Europe to every part of the UK and make sure that businesses have the certainty they need for trading and investment. We will make sure that goods and services can move around within the UK as they do right now.”