Her Majesty, the Queen, today, 19 December 2019, set out a new programme for Government which Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, says leaves too many questions unanswered.
The Prime Minister’s negotiation timetable with the EU on the next phase of Brexit will be written into the Withdrawal Bill, which is due to be read in Parliament this week. The Bill seeks to have a future relationship with the EU tied down by the end of next year. European negotiators have described this as unrealistic, and risks the UK leaving the EU without a deal in place, falling back on World Trade Organisation trade tariffs and risking 1000s of jobs across the UK.
Ms. Maskell described the Prime Minister’s approach as ‘reckless’ and ‘putting his interests ahead of the countries’. There are outstanding bills on agriculture, fisheries and trade, which have been waiting since the last Parliament and need to go through both Houses of Parliament within just a few months.
The speech also proposed a number of reviews, rather than addressing the real issues facing our society.
In response, Rachael Maskell MP says:
“Crucial issues like the Climate Emergency hardly got a mention in the Queen’s Speech. It sets 2050 as the target for us to become zero net carbon. That’s twenty years too late. The funding crisis in Local Government didn’t even get a mention, despite local services not being delivered. Social care was mentioned but there was no plan and remember the Government has cut £7bn from the budget.
“This will not address the real challenges that people across the community are facing, and could create a more hostile environment for people to live in. The lack of social housing, a social security system which is broken, and the lack of resources for our vital services should have been a priority.
“In the Queen’s Speech, the Prime Minister announced a number of extremely controversial reviews, including our judiciary, our constitution, and our relationship with the rest of the world. My fear is that he is trying to stitch up Parliament for his benefit not the people’s.
“During the Election the Prime Minister said he wanted to make things fairer for people living in the North but the speech didn’t address the real north / south divide across the UK. Investment in infrastructure, transport and jobs is urgently needed here in York and across the region. I will be raising these issues in Parliament over the coming weeks.”