On this page, two weeks ago, I reported from my Party’s autumn conference where a wave of bold policy announcements were made, as a trailer for the new Parliamentary session.
Since that time Brexit negotiations have continued to dominate the airwaves and are reaching a crescendo this week. The PM remains acutely aware, however, that people are concerned about the wider domestic agenda being drowned out. That is precisely why Boris was determined to reveal his government’s vision this week, through 26 bills announced in the Queens Speech.
In my conference report I have already mentioned commitments to education spending, investment in the NHS and our Police Service as well as a brand new national infrastructure strategy. Now there are several other measures which will be welcomed by many in Maidstone and The Weald.
Firstly, the Queen’s Speech made some very firm commitments on protecting our precious environment. A new Act will be introduced to set legally binding targets on a wide range of issues, such as reducing plastic pollution and (notably for urban Maidstone) improving air quality - a campaign I have been actively addressing for some time now.
For those in the Weald, plans are also afoot to modernise and improve agriculture and farming regulations. Leaving the EU will provide us with a once in a generation opportunity to reshape this sector for the best interests of our own rural communities. I will be consulting our farmers and other stakeholders as the new law is further developed and will ensure their views are heard in Parliament and in Government.
Of course, we have to get Brexit over the line, but I also believe we must use the opportunity our departure from the European Union presents to reshape our country and this Queen’s Speech was a welcome and significant step in the right direction.