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, 5 January 2017


2017, what will you bring us? It is likely that in the UK we will have a less turbulent year than in 2016. It will largely focus on Brexit, but we are unlikely to have a change of Prime Minister or the dramatic public vote that rocked our world last year. Article 50 will almost certainly be triggered by the end of March and negotiations will get underway. No real progress will be made until leadership elections in France and Germany are concluded by the autumn.

Over the water, we simply do not know whether Trump will be a catastrophe for the world and cause us to stumble towards conflict, or will turn out to be a smart President who moves us towards peace and prosperity.

A friend who worked for an international consultancy company would start every meeting with the words: "The consensus is X, but the consensus is always wrong…so what is really going to happen?"

Nobody knows and it is not worth fretting about the unknown and unknowable. One thing is for sure: we are living in extraordinary times and it will never be less than fascinating. 

At Westminster engaging in idle speculation about the future, about events that nobody can control, is a regular pastime. The infamous tea room is daily awash with political predictions and conjecture. It might be a lot of fun, but I have learned that it is completely pointless. Nobody knows.

One of the shock events of recent days was the resignation of a young and talented Labour MP who has decided to take a job in industry, triggering a by-election. I don't recall this happening before and we might see more of this if people do not see a way forward for their once great party. The shape of the British political landscape might well be changing.

There will be votes on the fringes of Brexit this year and I intend use my vote wisely in the national interest. In 2018 there is likely to be a blockbuster vote on Brexit and I will keep my powder largely dry until then.

In the meantime I will focus on things I can directly influence: vital constituency and regional issues: rail and transport infrastructure, connectivity including superfast broadband and 5G, investing in the right defences for our country, new housing for generation rent, tackling the growing crisis in health and social care. 

No predictions from me, except: it will be busy.

posted by Gary @ 09:16