Burnley MP Julie Cooper MP column: I will not put British lives at risk

Even after the worst defeat in the history of our country the Prime Minister is still not willing to listen to anyone.
Burnley MP Julie CooperBurnley MP Julie Cooper
Burnley MP Julie Cooper

Her persistent pandering to extremists in her own party has created the current mess, and has left her desperately short of time to reach agreement on a sensible deal.

She now needs to pull out all the stops rule out "no deal", accept that she can’t have all her own way and work on a cross party Brexit plan.

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Everyone is really fed up with the whole tedious process and I know that it is really tempting to say let’s walk away from the EU without any deal and to hell with the lot of them but sadly it’s not so simple – real life is not like that.

The UK has never been self sufficient and won’t be after we exit the EU. It is a fact that we rely on trade and agreements with other countries for a whole range of things including for industry, for food, for medicines, for security and for travel.

Unless we want to wreck our country and our lives we need to make arrangements in all these areas. It is for all these reasons that it would highly irresponsible for us to crash out of the EU with no deal at all.

The Prime Minister knows this and she is holding the country to ransom. This is absolutely scandalous and will lead to very serious problems for us.

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For example there are hundreds of diabetics across Burnley and Padiham who rely on imported insulin and literally cannot survive if the supply is disrupted. People keep saying the EU nations need us as much as we need them but just to be clear, if we leave with no deal it won’t be the diabetics in the EU nations who go without insulin, it will be our people who go without, and I for one will not put British lives at risk.

While the nation is preoccupied with Brexit other important issues are slipping under the radar and there is a danger that these will be ignored.

A good example of this is continued cuts to police budgets that are barely getting a mention.

Since 2010 Lancashire constabulary has had to make £84 million of savings and will be forced to cut an extra £18 million over the next three years.

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This has meant the loss of 800 uniformed police officers. It is likely that the Council Tax precept for policing will continue to rise.

The extra money raised in this way will not make up for nine years of cuts but it will help to plug some of the gaps and I will be urging the Police and Crime Commissioner to use this money for action to target burglars.

Next to violent crime, house burglaries really are the most distressing for those on the receiving end and I am determined that these should be prioritised for action with the limited resources available.

On Thursday I participated in a debate on mental health in the work place.

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This gave the Government another opportunity to demonstrate that it really is serious about giving equal status and importance to mental health but even though MPs from all parties agreed that increased mental health awareness and support in the workplace was in the best interests of both individuals and the economy as a whole, the Government refused to bring legislation to require employers to have a designated mental health first aid champion.

Currently all companies that employ more than 25 people are required to have a first aider to deal with physical ill health but sadly the Government Minister rules out giving the same support for mental ill health.

This is a real shame and shows that when it comes to rising to the challenge of mental health the Government doesn’t get beyond warm words.

On a cheerful note the Clarets have turned a corner; five matches without defeat and at least the football is giving us something to smile about!

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My next MP’s surgery will be held on Saturday from 10am - 12pm at Tesco Extra Burnley. No appointments are necessary and people will be seen on a first come first served basis. Alternatively email me at [email protected] or call 01282 425744.

My constituency office at 8 Keirby Walk Burnley is open to the public Monday to Friday from 10am - 4pm (half day on Tuesdays)

Feel free to drop by to speak to a member of my staff who will do their best to help and will pass on to me the issues which you raise.