It’s back to business for the UK Parliament next week and, whilst there may be new Prime Minister at the helm, it is very much business as usual at number ten. Indecision, delays and lacklustre attempts to navigate the UK economy through the chaos created by the last Prime Minister, remain the order of the day.
Theresa May has already treated us to another ‘big society-esk’ catch phrase; one to help steer us through these troubled times. “Brexit means Brexit”. I am sure the question that will reverberate through, just about every debate, next week and beyond – will be; “But what does that mean?”
Is it her new Foreign Secretary’s version of the UK, post-EU? The one, cooked up with his fellow Brexit manifesto architect Michael Gove. The same man she swiftly ousted from the cabinet. Or is it to be that of ‘state-side’ Nigel Farage – Trump’s newest campaign tool. Or, should we all simply listen to the other nations of the EU. Who have been steadfast in their position – the single market does not come without EU immigration.
Whether you feel that our place in Europe is vital for our economy or if the EU is just simply not for you, it will still touch virtually every matter. Every decision taken from now on will affect you and your family. The debate now isn’t how we voted, but how our leaders intend to shape the change to come. Here in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, backed by the majority of the Scottish Parliament has set out our clear intentions – we want a Scotland in Europe. As voted for by all 32 Scottish Constituencies.
We now need to know how Theresa May intends to negotiate with the other 27 nations to protect the wishes of the Scottish people, and, of course, those of the rest of the UK. Brexit will, without doubt, be a career defining issue for Theresa May. Unfortunately it will also be economy-defining for us all. Next week when parliament reconvenes is vital that all MPs are given every opportunity to ask these very important questions on behalf of you, our constituents.
Being back in parliament next week, also gives me the opportunity to keep up the pressure on a decision Airport Expansion. As an MP for a region that relies heavily on air connectivity and as the SNP Westminster Group Leader for Transport, airport expansion is always high on my list of priorities. Lack of connections to vital international hubs, has a huge impact on regional airports. Indeed, we just need to look to the recent rise in passenger numbers at Inverness Airport since the introduction of the new Heathrow and Schiphol flights to see the positive impact hub airport connections have on our local economy. It is for this reason we must secure more connections.
In 2009 David Cameron was unequivocal on the issue. Foolishly so, in my view, “No ifs, no buts, no 3rd Runway at Heathrow” he told Journalists. Seven years of indecision has followed – Yes, lots of ifs and lots of buts and Heathrow very much in the mix. Now we are told that the new Prime minister is to take personal charge of the Airport Expansion cabinet group. I do hope that she will finally end the waiting and make a decision once and for all – No ifs, no buts, no more delays.