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BILL WIGGIN MP

MP for North Herefordshire

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Update on Ledbury Station Access for All funding

On 4 April the Department of Transport published the disappointing news that Ledbury Station has not qualified under this round of the Access for All scheme.

I have spoken to the Department for Transport, who have told me that 300 nominations were considered for 73 places and that unfortunately Ledbury did not score highly enough on this occasion.

Selection criteria included the level of local disability, footfall, usage, and value for money of the proposed works. More information and the full list of stations set to benefit from additional funding can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/access-for-all-73-stations-set-to-benefit-from-additional-funding

Whilst the next round of Access for All nominations will not take place until 2024, there is a much more positive note.

Today the Department announced that £20 million will be allocated to re-launch the Mid-Tier Access for All programme. This aims to provide smaller scale accessibility improvements to stations which can be delivered using £250,000 to £1 million of Government funding.

The Department for Transport will be seeking Mid-Tier nominations in due course and I very much hope that Ledbury station will be considered.

I have been campaigning for this and will never give up until we have access for all people at Ledbury Station.

Following PMQs this morning I have been in further meetings and will keep you informed of any developments.

Bill Wiggin MP Brexit Update

Brexit update 05/04/19

On Wednesday, remainer MPs won the vote to allow the House to legally stop a no deal Brexit and to ask for an extension to Article 50.

This morning, Theresa May has written to the European Union to request a further delay to Brexit until 30 June.

A senior EU source claims that Donald Tusk will propose a 12-month “flexible” extension to Brexit next week, with the option of cutting it short, if the UK Parliament ratifies a deal.

The third recent development is that the Government is trying to get its deal through with Labour votes.

It is very unlikely to succeed as the Labour party have been playing politics with this subject for a long time and are likely to exploit it in an attempt to force a General Election.

Their success in forcing an imminent General Election is remote. However, it is possible that Labour will exact unpleasant demands on the Prime Minister and blame the outcome on her.

The likely outcome is that we will still leave, maybe with a Customs Union arrangement.

The critical element is the European Communities Act (ECA) 1972, which currently gives EU law supremacy over UK national law.

At the point at which Britain repeals ECA 1972, Britain will have left the European Union and will continue to distance itself from the EU.

EU legislation in place in the UK under ECA 1972 would cease to have effect, and the UK would be free to determine the transfer of relevant EU law onto the British legal system.

So while this week looks bleak, all is not lost and once ECA 1972 has been repealed the rest will follow.

The House has cancelled next week’s Recess in order to schedule further debate before 12 April, and I will continue to do all I can to honour the majority of my constituents’ views.

Best wishes

Bill Wiggin MP

 

Bill Wiggin MP Brexit Update

29/03/19

I shall be voting for the Prime Minister’s deal today.

Even though I would prefer a clean global Brexit under WTO terms, I am supporting her because there is no majority in the House of Commons for a WTO departure.

The indicative votes last week showed that there were only 160 in favour and 400 against WTO, while the vote for a second referendum was only 268 for and 295 against.

The votes for a customs union were far closer at 264 in favour and 272 against.

If we do not get the deal through today then I expect the majority of remainer MPs to vote for a customs union which keeps us in the EU.

That is the mathematical reality that I am forced to deal with and that is why I am supporting the PMs deal which is far from perfect but gets us out of the EU on 22 May.

I promised to vote to get us out of the EU and I am doing all I can to honour that promise.

Best wishes

Bill

Bill Wiggin uses PMQs to call for access for all at Ledbury Train Station

BillWiggin-PMQ-270319

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, today used his question to the Prime Minister during PMQs to call for disabled access at Ledbury Train Station in his North Herefordshire constituency.

Click the link below to Parliament TV where you can view Bill’s PMQ in full. You can find the clip by clicking on 12:18:09 Bill Wiggin MP under the Agenda section.

Bill Wiggin MP – PMQ – 27/03/19

Bill Wiggin MP Provides Orkambi Update Following Debate in Parliament Last Month

I am delighted that through the debate I held in Parliament last month which threatened the patent on Orkambi which is a drug to treat Cystic Fibrosis; the Minister for Health has revealed that the NHS and NICE have met and are continuing to engage in constructive negotiations next week:

“Constructive meeting with Vertex CEO with NHSE & NICE to find ways of breaking the impasse on #OrkambiNow so we can get this to those who desperately need it. Vertex, NHSE & NICE will meet again next week.”

Matt Hancock, 12:47PM 11 March 2019 https://twitter.com/MattHancock/status/1105193593860435968

Whilst it is too early to celebrate, I am thrilled for all the children who are suffering from this condition and those around them. It is great to see that we can make a difference in the House.

Brexit Update from Bill Wiggin MP

13/03/19

No matter how you voted or what is going on in Westminster, I believe it is helpful to try to explain what I am doing and why at this increasingly complicated time.

I try to remain focused on the promise made to the electorate that we would honour the referendum result. That is why people vote.

Today, I intend to vote to withdraw without a deal. I believe this is the most honest option as delay could lead to cancellation which is what the opposition parties are hoping for.

That is why I lent my support to the Prime Minister yesterday because we still want to leave on 29 March.

However there are large numbers of MPs who will vote this choice down. If that is the case I shall also vote for an amendment to this motion.

This is also known as the Malthouse Compromise Plan B, which has been signed by my colleagues on both sides of the debate:

 

Amendment (f)

At end, add “; notes the steps taken by the Government, the EU and its Member

States to minimise any disruption that may occur should the UK leave the EU without

an agreed Withdrawal Agreement and proposes that the Government should build on

this work as follows:

  1. That the Government should publish the UK’s Day One Tariff Schedules

immediately;

  1. To allow businesses to prepare for the operation of those tariffs, that the

Government should seek an extension of the Article 50 process to 10.59pm on 22 May

2019, at which point the UK would leave the EU;

  1. Thereafter, in a spirit of co-operation and in order to begin discussions on the

Future Relationship, the Government should offer a further set of mutual standstill

agreements with the EU and Member States for an agreed period ending no later

than 30 December 2021, during which period the UK would pay an agreed sum

equivalent to its net EU contributions and satisfy its other public international law

obligations; and

  1. The Government should unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU citizens resident in

the UK.”.

 

This agreement appears to set out a sensible right way forward.

Whilst it will delay our departure this amendment will allow us to leave absolutely.

I regret that we must compromise on a delay date in order to continue to deliver Brexit and also so that we can build a future relationship with the EU which is positive and useful.

I am having to be strategic with my voting, and that is why I am writing to you to let you know what I am doing.

I am sure you understand that the voting strategy to secure Brexit is no longer straightforward.

Voting for the Government’s deal yesterday, and today voting against taking ‘No Deal’ off the table and supporting the Malthouse Agreement, is the compromise that with I have judged to be the most effective voting strategy to get us out of the EU and in a managed, positive way.

Best wishes

Bill

Bill Wiggin MP welcomes local community funding boost

Bill Wiggin MP has welcomed the news that a good cause in his constituency has received funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Play Learning Life have received £2,000 from the Postcode Local Trust for their Wild Workshops project. The project will “green the desert” of the new Colwall school grounds to help create habitats with children for learning, play and wildlife.

Congratulating the organisation, Mr Wiggin said:

“I’m delighted to hear that the Play Learning Life have received funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

“My thanks go to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, as this award will make a real difference to the local community.

“I also encourage any other local groups and charities needing additional project funding to consider applying to the Postcode Community Trust, the Postcode Local Trust or the People’s Postcode Trust when the next funding round opens. This type of funding can help you achieve more for your charity and the local community.”

To date, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £393 million for over 5,500 good causes across Great Britain.

Local charities and community groups can apply for funding from the Postcode Community Trust, the Postcode Local Trust and the People’s Postcode Trust.  The next funding round opens on 31st July. For more information, please visit the trusts’ websites.

Bill Wiggin MP wins Campaigner of the week: The House Magazine

Bill is delighted and very proud to have won Campaigner of the Week as decided by The House Magazine.

Bill Wiggin Brexit Update

Brexit Update: 19.02.19

Very few people, myself included, have changed their views on Brexit.

The last meaningful vote which concluded that we should leave with a deal but that we should remove the backstop was a good summary of my own position and showed the compromises we have made necessary for progress. That too has not changed.

I hope that you understand why I cannot support the backstop because it has two effects.

  1. It makes it harder to negotiate a good trade deal as the backstop hangs over our negotiating team as a threat.
  2. It is harder to leave the backstop agreement than the EU itself.

The decision to remove the backstop now lies with the EU.  The ball is firmly in their court.

The Prime Minister has done all she can to make it clear to the EU that we can agree on this but if they will not alter their stance then I expect that we shall leave without a deal.

If this occurs we should return to negotiate a trade deal after the 29th March. We are not able to do this until after we leave and become what is known as a third Country.

The people voted to leave irrespective of the consequences and I still believe that the people should expect us to deliver on that very clear referendum question.

I am not afraid of leaving on World Trade Organisation terms as we have seen our trade grow outside the EU while diminishing within the EU. However, I also accept that we would prefer to leave with a sensible deal with our EU neighbours that was beneficial to all people in both the UK and Europe.

Last week though I was in too much pain and therefore unable to vote.

I was “nodded through” which meant that the Government secured my vote for the entire day.

Even so, the Government was defeated.

I will be moving my 10 Minute Rule Motion this week from my wheel chair.

Hopefully I will be fully repaired soon.

Best wishes

Bill

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