ANDREA JENKYNS MP COLUMN: Disappointed by High Court’s Article 50 ruling

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I was very disappointed to hear about the High Court’s decision regarding Parliamentary approval for Article 50.

Although I am confident Parliament will uphold the will of the British people and pass Article 50 legislation, it is an unnecessary delay to a process I have been advocating for years.

I would like Article 50 be invoked as quickly as possible, to ensure the certainty and clarity this nation needs to build a prosperous future.

Prior to the disappointing High Court ruling, I had my first meeting with the Exiting the European Union Select Committee.

It was fantastic to be elected two weeks ago and get started on the process of scrutinising our exit from the EU.

In our first meeting we got to know the workings of the committee, its future business and how we will work together to ensure Britain’s future is stable and prosperous.

Despite being a ‘Remainer’, I look forward to working with Hilary Benn as Chair and to seeing who we elect as his Vice-Chair, which, as my colleagues and I are advocating, will hopefully be a ‘Brexiter’.

In other Westminster news, I am delighted to welcome Jeremy Hunt’s new approach to combating superbugs.

Transparency is crucial to improving standards and I am delighted the NHS will now have to publish staff hand hygiene indicators for the first time.

E. coli rates will also be displayed on wards, visible to patients and visitors.

This will motivate staff to follow proper hand-hygiene procedure and it will give vulnerable patients an idea of their hospital’s records regarding hygiene.

These new strategies will drive an improvement in standards and lead to the crackdown on superbugs that is desperately needed.

During a Health Select Committee meeting regarding suicide prevention, I was able to ask Ruth Sunderland, Chief Executive of Samaritans, Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at MIND and Dr. Ann John, Chair of the National Advisory Group to the Welsh Government about suicide and self-harm prevention.

Having a family member in the Samaritans really makes me appreciate all the hard work they do.

I asked how the different sectors are approaching suicide prevention and what challenges they face.

The evidence session had similarities to my meeting with Nick Smart, from the Police Federation, as we discussed mental health support provisions that will more effectively support people affected by mental health problems.

Back in Morley, it was fantastic to visit Blue Square Brewery.

Having never visited a brewery before it was very interesting to see the process in action.

Supporting small businesses is very important to me and it was amazing to see Chris and Richard‘s initiative in creating a high quality product.

Hopefully they keep it going and add to their already extensive beer range.