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, 26 January 2017


The last 7 days has given us a glimpse into the future. We have a protectionist and unpredictable leader of the free world in the White House and the UK government has turned its back on remaining in the EU single market.

I am pleased that our Prime Minister is the first world leader through the door to sit down with Donald Trump. Although some constituents have written to me saying we should turn our back on such a President, in fact the reverse is true. Now more than ever we need to emphasise the special relationship and draw as close as we can to the incoming President. The USA remains the only true superpower (China is on its way) and so we need to ensure that the worst moves that this Administration might make are constrained by good old Anglo-Saxon common sense. Theresa May might end up being the only world politician who can restrain him.

The negotiations between the UK and the EU will be as tough as can be imagined. I salute the PM for setting out our position so clearly last week. It would be hard to stay in the single market and accept the free movement of people (immigration) as this was why most people voted to leave. It is credible to put in place a new free trade deal between us and the EU that gives access to each other's markets without tariffs or non-tariff barriers, but which does not involve uncontrolled immigration from the continent into the UK. This is do-able. Nobody needs to lose face.

The phoney war over Brexit which started last June is drawing to a close. Parliament will shortly begin the debate over triggering Article 50 and negotiations with the EU will then begin in earnest. Parliament will have the final say on the ultimate deal. We know that no agreement can be reached before elections in France and Germany have been completed by October 2017, so don't expect any conclusion until spring 2018 at the earliest. In the meantime much energy is being invested in discussing potential trade deals with a host of other countries around the world and finding new ways of supporting British business abroad.

We are living through dramatic historic times. There may be new shocks and aftershocks as the international geo-political landscape changes shape. There is thunder in the air. My advice? Find something or someone solid and hold on tight. 

posted by Gary @ 09:38