ANDREA JENKYNS MP COLUMN: Special relationship with US will continue

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My colleague Michael Gove’s interview with Donald Trump shows why we should be ambitious as we approach the Article 50 timeline.

Despite the varying views on Trump, the interview highlighted how the President-elect of the United States is full of admiration for Britain, our values and our bravery in leaving the European Union.

The interview also showed how he is ready to sign a comprehensive and speedy free-trade deal, making Britain and the US partners in a new era of outward looking trade and prosperity.

Being a member of archaic EU institutions will not make this possible.

Our membership of the customs union denies us the sovereignty to negotiate our own trading relationships, depriving us of potentially lucrative markets, such as the US, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, all of which have indicated a desire to trade freely with us in the future.

Furthermore, our membership of the single market prohibits the control of immigration, something that has been a concern of voters for so long and it is something that must be addressed.

That is why I support the Prime Minister’s bold approach in redefining Britain’s future.

Our new role in the world will allow us to pursue immigration control, sovereignty over laws and our courts, budget control and trade, essential elements of our democracy.

As a member of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, which will scrutinise our withdrawal from the EU, I look forward to holding the government to account and analysing how we can truly grasp the exciting opportunities before us. Away from Brexit it was a pleasure for me to pay a visit to the Drighlington Community Library. I was delighted to be able to visit the library for a drink and thank the staff for all of the hard work they do.

With over 1,295 members and 7,000 books, this busy library is full of ambition and I look forward to seeing how their new funds will help them develop further.

My office in Morley last week also saw one of its busiest weeks too, with over 70 constituents personally contacting my office so they could discuss their concerns and thoughts.

These concerns varied from analysing government departments, to local transport to local planning issues. Finally, in Westminster, I was delighted to raise the case of young people’s mental health in Yorkshire during Jeremy Hunt’s urgent statement on mental health. I asked about the one in 50 young people who are currently receiving mental health care in the region and whether the newly-announced government focus on mental health will reduce the burden currently being felt by these young people and their families.

I welcomed the announcement of the introduction of mental health first aid in schools, to help raise awareness about, and reduce stigma surrounding, mental health issues afflicting young people.

I also welcomed the announcement of £150million in support for evidence-based community services for children and young people with eating disorders.