Last week saw The Queen’s State Opening of Parliament where the Prince of Wales, on behalf of Her Royal Majesty, set out new legalisation for the new Parliamentary session.
It is an important Parliamentary moment that provides an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved and what is next to do. It also provides an opportunity to reflect on the Britain we want to build in the years to come. What our priorities are as a nation. Of the future of our community here in Dover and Deal.
The Queen’s Speech set out how the Government will seize Brexit freedoms to best grow the economy and support British business, creating economic strength and prosperity needed to ease cost of living pressures and help people into high-skilled and well-paid jobs.
One aspect in the Queen’s Speech that was announced was the New Immigration Plan. Encompassing the Nationality and Borders Act, and new agreements with partners globally including the world-leading Migration Partnership with Rwanda, this Plan will secure our borders and tackle illegal migration. Small boats crossings have gone on for too long. It’s time these crossings came to an end. With this plan and the new Nationality and Borders Act we will see more powers to strengthen our borders and more options to work with other countries to make sure that people are encouraged to use legal and safe routes and discouraged from using these dangerous and illegal ones. Relieving the pressure in our area.
Another aspect of the Queen’s Speech that directly benefits our area is the Harbours and Seafarers Bill. Since the mass sacking of 800 P&O workers – around 600 of whom worked on the Dover-Calais route – I have been campaigning for P&O to rethink and reinstate the workers. Additionally, I managed to secure a national rapid response team which has been deployed into Dover, the team held support sessions for seafarers. The Bill will ensure that more protection is given to seafarers in light of the P&O situation.
The Transport Secretary also announced a consultation on the Bill. The consultation is open to all individuals and organisations and will give an opportunity for stakeholders to raise questions and concerns of the implementation of the Bill. I fully support the action the Government is doing to ensure that seafarers are heard and protected. The consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/conditions-for-harbour-access-and-seafarers-pay-rates-scope-and-compliance and will run until 7th June.
A new session in parliament is an opportunity to continue to highlight the important issues that affect our area. The Government has been hard at work delivering on our priorities. I am looking forward to the next session in Parliament so we can do even more to support our nation and our community.