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BILL WIGGIN MP

MP for North Herefordshire

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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

Bill Introduces 10 Minute Rule Bill

I am introducing the following Ten Minute Rule Bill:

Dog Meat (Consumption) (Offences) Bill

A Bill to make it an offence to consume dog meat and to transport, possess or donate dog meat for the purpose of consumption; and for connected purposes. 

Tragically, 30 million dogs are eaten every year around the world. Over 10 million are slaughtered in China.

Happily there is no evidence that dog meat is eaten in the UK, but China argue that until we make it illegal why should they?

Due to the vile way in which these dogs are treated, I would like our country to join in setting an example to the world.

It is of particular importance to do this as the method of slaughter is deliberately cruel.

The animals are made to suffer brutally in the belief that raised adrenaline levels caused by pain improve the quality of the meat.

Two months ago, a ban on the human consumption of dog meat was passed in the United States, following Germany, Austria, South Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

My Ten Minute Rule Bill highlights how the UK Government could join these countries in standing up for animal welfare by bringing in a ban.

Bill Wiggin MP calls for Crown Use License Debate

Following an emotional meeting with my constituent, I was moved to call this debate.

I am challenging the Government to take the opportunity to use a legal device to overrule the patent which manufacturers Vertex hold.

This is because Vertex refused the largest ever financial offer the NHS has made in its entire history for this medicine.

The Government offered £500 million over five years for access to the drug Orkambi for CF sufferers.

Vertex refused this offer.

Crown Use licensing can prevent pharmaceutical companies from taking advantage of incredibly vulnerable people.

Orkambi is a very expensive drug to treat Cystic Fibrosis. At £104,000 per patient per year, it is not currently available under the NHS.

However, we have a power under UK patent law that hopefully will enable the Government to lift the monopoly on Orkambi.

This debate aims to give patients an opportunity to access Orkambi under the NHS and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The NHS has to heal all medical conditions, Cystic Fibrosis included, so it must achieve a wise spend of its limited budget for drugs.

In the UK, 1 in 25 people carry the faulty Cystic Fibrosis gene and every week, 5 babies are born with the disease and 2 young people die as a result of Cystic Fibrosis.

Young children in particular should have access to the precision drug Orkambi as it gives them a 42% improvement both of life expectancy and a better quality of their lives too.

Bill Wiggin MP Brexit Statement

21.01.19

Following the Prime Minister’s latest statement to the House of Commons this afternoon on exiting the European Union, it is clear that further compromises must be made soon if the Government are to find a way forward that delivers on the Referendum result.

I firstly welcome the Government’s continued commitment to respecting the Belfast agreement and her willingness to engage with opposition parties, even if they don’t reciprocate.

As it is in the best interests for both the UK and EU for the Northern Irish Backstop to be amended, I hope that this will be achieved in the forthcoming week of negotiations between the EU, the Prime Minister, and Members of Parliament.

If, however, the EU does not compromise on the Backstop, leaving without a deal would be preferable to remaining trapped in the EU single market under the Backstop arrangement currently outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement. “No deal is better than a bad deal!”

Despite my optimism for a WTO clean global Brexit, if the Backstop were to be removed from the Withdrawal Agreement, I would nevertheless be willing to vote for the Prime Minister’s deal.

Of the correspondence that I have received on this subject since early October, roughly twice as many North Herefordshire constituents have contacted me specifically to say that they would reject the deal as it stands than those who have written in support of the deal.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that there is no majority for a Second Referendum in the House, and that the Government has a duty to implement the result of the 2016 Referendum.

I therefore look forward to the revised deal that the Prime Minister will return with after re-negotiating with the EU.

I hope that it is one that I can confidently support in the knowledge that it will deliver the Brexit that the majority of North Herefordshire voted for in June 2016, and address the many important issues raised by my constituents.

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