September 2016 update – Vicky Ford MEP

This week (12th September) will be the first full meeting of the European Parliament after the summer recess.  For the UK, the work we do in the next few months will set the scene for negotiations ahead on a new relationship between the UK and the rest of the EU.

If we are to secure the best outcome it is important to understand what those in other countries are thinking and to look to find mutually beneficial solutions.  I wrote more about this over the summer which you can read here.

The prime minister met the Conservative MEPs in her first few weeks in office.  She made it clear she hopes we will continue to work constructively in the Parliament until the Article 50 process is complete and to help with the negotiations ahead.

The shape of the long term relationship between the UK and the EU's single market will be fundamental, especially as nearly half of all British exports go into the EU.

The new Department for Exiting the EU is working with experts across Whitehall on a huge sector by sector review of the links between the UK and EU in order to prepare for the discussions ahead.

In the past few weeks I have been able to meet representatives from the British manufacturing, energy, university and banking sectors to discuss their priorities and met ministers from the new UK Trade, Brexit and Business departments, Ireland and Finland.  There is a great deal of work ahead and it is important that it focuses on the nitty gritty detail.

During the summer break in Cambridge I have been working with representatives from business, education and the public sector to identify key local priorities.

For the East of England the uncertainty for science and research is a significant concern as the international links between our universities and research organisations are vital to keeping them at the cutting edge of world-class innovation. This encourages many leading companies to base themselves here.

It was helpful the Chancellor announced over the summer that funding for research grants would be guaranteed up to 2020.  The Cambridge University Vice Chancellor brought a delegation from the Russell Group of universities to Brussels to identify long-term solutions for research and also for the increasing number of UK university students wanting to do exchange placements in other European countries as part of their degree courses – this significantly increases career prospects.   I was pleased to be able to host this meeting.

There is much work to do in months ahead.  Please do let me know your thoughts and ideas.

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Vicky Ford MEP
Eastern England
Broadway House
149-151 St Neots Road
Hardwick
CB23 7QJ

Phone
01954 211 722

E-mail
office@vickyford.org

Twitter
@vickyford

Website
www.vickyford.org