We aren't giving away rights, we just want to leave the EU

The honeymoon period as a new MP is now well and truly over and we have been getting down to the serious business of getting Brexit done.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 8:00 am
Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith outside 10 Downing Street.

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill has now been voted through the Commons and once it has passed through the House of Lords it should receive Royal Assent and mean Britain leaves the European Union on January 31.

It filled me with a great sense of pride to have played my part in getting this done and it was also my promise to the people of Bassetlaw.

Since then I’ve had a number of messages and comments online asking me why I have voted to take rights away from child refugees, voted against giving people the right to study in Europe using the Erasmus scheme and voted to take workers’ rights away.

The answer is that this is simply not true.

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill is designed take Britain out of the EU, that’s its only purpose.

The other issues are dealt with elsewhere and have nothing to do with Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, which is why I and my colleagues voted against all of the amendments put forward by the opposition parties.

It wasn’t because we don’t care about these issues, but because they simply don’t belong in the bill.

So why have these things become an issue?

Because unfortunately, they create a headline and politics is a dirty game sometimes.

On a happier note, I was invited to meet the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street this week.

I also spoke for the first time in the House of Commons about the NHS and extra funding for Bassetlaw Hospital.

I’ve given hundreds of speeches before as a councillor and as a headteacher, but I will admit that I still felt a little nervous.

For the first time ever, all of the MPs in Nottinghamshire are Conservatives and we all met up this week to discuss how we can work together for the benefit of our county.

Perhaps the most nerve-wracking thing, however, was getting the application done to send my son to primary school for the first time.

I want to wish all parents and children the best of luck in getting their first choices.