Cat Smith column - I want to hear your views on Brexit

Cat Smith is hosting public meetings so she can hear her constituents views on Brexit (Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Cat Smith is hosting public meetings so she can hear her constituents views on Brexit (Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Fleetwood MP has organised special meetings to take the temperature of the constituency when it comes to leaving the European Union

Parliament is in deadlock on how to move forward over the arrangements to leave the European Union. As I said last week in this column, in the EU referendum, like the country at large, the Lancaster and Fleetwood constituency split almost down the middle, but with a majority voting to Leave.
At the time, while campaigning to Remain, I heard your concerns on both sides and the following year I stood on a Labour manifesto promising to respect the result of that referendum and to push for a deal which protected jobs and living standards while also protecting consumer and workers’ rights, and environmental protections.
I listened to you then and I want to hear from you again.
On Friday I’ll be holding public meetings across the constituency, including in Fleetwood and Knott End, so you can have your say on where we go from here. If you’d like to come along on Friday, at 11am in Fleetwood, or 2pm in Knott End, then please register online via my Facebook page – go to the events page to sign up. Or call my office on 01253 490440. Details of the town centre location for the meeting will be provided after registering.
The deal presented by Theresa May won’t protect jobs, workplace rights or environmental standards; it won’t guarantee frictionless trade so that our manufacturing and food processing businesses can export, and it provides no certainty about our future relationship with the EU.
So, what happens next?
There are now more votes coming before Parliament in the coming days and weeks, from leaving without a deal to having a public vote and all the options in between.
So I can best be Lancaster and Fleetwood’s voice in Westminster, please share your thoughts on what you want to see happen next. I’d love to hear from you at the public meetings on Friday where I hope we can have a respectful dialogue. If you can’t make it to the meeting, then please write to me at my constituency office, 50 Lord Street, Fleetwood, FY76DT or email cat.smith.mp@parliament.uk.
On Tuesday, in a parliamentary debate on Further Education, I praised the work of Blackpool and the Fylde College, and I spoke about young people’s mental health.
Most young people with a mental health condition do not get the treatment they need. In 2017-18 only three in 10 children and young people with a mental health condition received NHS-funded treatment, and many more faced long waits for treatment. Recent figures show one in eight (12.8 per cent) five-19-year-olds have a mental health disorder. There has also been a marked increase in the number of 5-15 year olds who suffer from an emotional disorder. It’s clear children and young people with mental health conditions are being failed by this Government. NHS provision is far below the required levels and many people who do get help face long waits for treatment. The Government needs to address this crisis to ensure our young people don’t have to face the serious consequences of mental health distress.
A new Domestic Abuse Bill has been published. On average two women a week are killed by a current or former partner. The Government’s austerity programme has dire consequences for local authorities’ ability to fund services such as women’s refuges. The Tories have cut over a third of local authority funding to domestic violence services.
With many issues brought to family courts, I’m pleased the draft Bill will include measures to outlaw the cross-examination of survivors of domestic abuse by perpetrators.