• Difficult Times/Good News

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    13 April 2019

    Difficult times

    So parliament has gone into recess and with the UK having secured an extension of Article 50 meaning that we are still not out of the EU. We have until the end of October to sort this out. With no deal not being parliament’s preference and a bill having been passed by backbenchers (in defiance of a hundred years or so of convention in which it is the government that moves binding motions not backbenchers) ensuring that the PM was required to seek an extension as well as wishing to seek one herself it now looks increasingly unlikely that we will ever leave without a deal. But how to get a deal agreed through parliament? That is the key question. At the time of writing talks are on going between the PM and her team and Jeremy Corbyn and his. This has caused considerable tension within the Conservative parliamentary party and also for many in Labour’s ranks too but my view is that it is necessary and might just land us with a deal that can get through the house and work with the EU too. Compromise is the word of the moment and difficult decisions will have to be taken by members right across the house. My own view is that it will be very difficult for us to have to go through the coming EU elections given that we are leaving and respecting the result of the 2016 referendum. The key date here is 22nd May which is the last moment that the elections can be called off given that election day itself is the 23rd. Then if we do have to go through the elections the date for MEPs to take their seats in the EU parliament is 30th June. If we have not concluded our arrangements by that time then we will be sending MEPs to Strasbourg – very far from desirable.

    Good News

    Brexit has left Parliament and, judging by my postbag many constituents feeling rather vexed at the moment. So I googled ‘good news stories’ and thought I would share the top hit as a counter to the ‘Brexit Blues’.
    A great good news story regarding the environment. A tech company called BioCarbon Engineering has been using drones, developed by an ex-NASA engineer, to deliver pre-germinated seed pods into the soil. The drones have been shown to plant trees far faster than humans can achieve and at much lower cost. The result is that thousand of acres are of trees are being planted and degraded woodland is being brought back to life. Another example of how technology and scientific advance is making for a better world. Driverless cars, gene based medical interventions, artificial intelligence and robotics are set to usher in advances that will raise living standards and will be hugely beneficial to mankind. So the future is in many different ways bright despite what the news from Westminster right now might suggest.

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