Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 30 June 2016


The people have spoken. The vote to leave the EU was close but decisive. What happens next?

The Prime Minister has resigned as I forecast and we will have a new leader in place by 2nd September. Whether he or she then triggers an early general election to seek a fresh mandate for the actions they propose remains to be seen. At the same time the Labour Party has descended into a civil war. This all adds to the sense of insecurity and turmoil that many people are feeling.

There has been a Brexit impact on the currency and stock exchange, but this can be contained. The real problems may arise over the next few months and years as investment decisions in the UK are delayed or cancelled. There are signs we are heading into recession. I sincerely hope not as people lose their jobs and government has less to spend on public services and vital infrastructure like our rail upgrade.

It is for the new Prime Minister to press the button on the formal two-year departure process (Article 50). In the meantime civil servants are analysing all of the decision on which negotiations will take place with the other 27 EU countries in the run up to separation, which will presumably be in 2018/19.

Until then we remain part of the EU, and trade and immigration will continue as now. The crucial thing to try to negotiate is continued access to the single market without free movement of people (immigration). I think it is unlikely to be possible but hope I am wrong.

So a period of peace-time turbulence like never before. Many people have e-mailed calling for a second referendum. I just don't think this is possible. Imagine the outcry if Westminster tried to side-step the decision the people have made.

Detailed legislation will have to be passed by the House before Brexit becomes a reality. This provides an opportunity for further reflection, although again, it is essential to respect the decision taken.

One of the many unpleasant aspects of the last three months is the licence that some of our citizens think they now have to behave in a racially abusive way to people living here from other countries. This is completely unacceptable and must stop.

The future is uncertain, but I believe that we can make it work. Be patient as we seek a way of implementing the decision without wrecking our country.

posted by Gary @ 09:25