In My View - 17th May 2018

Parts of an MP’s job are a real privilege and so may I say a big ‘thank you’ to all the organisers and helpers at both the St Margaret’s Hospice Summer Fete and the Haselbury Plucknett Summer Fair for involving me in their brilliant events at the weekend. The latter had a Royal wedding theme as children had designed crowns and wedding gowns for Megan Markle which I think were of an excellent standard. I am not sure of the latest news on that front but I suspect they may also be a great deal more affordable than the genuine article also.

I am a fan of Harry and Megan. He’s turned into a great ambassador for the Country, and their charity and outreach work seems a strong bond. Harry’s been a big contributor to talking about Mental Health issues and lifting the stigma there.

Of course the South West has many connections with America, where Megan is from; many of the settlers on the early trips to America including the Mayflower were from our part of the world. Indeed one of TS Eliot’s forefathers was on such a ship which helps explain his affinity for all things English – and with his ancestral link to the lovely Cokers who can blame him?

Who knows, by some twist of fate maybe the United States might one day see the advantage of constitutional monarchy once more and seek royal blood with an American flavour. I am tempted to say it could even “Make America Great Britain Again”.

In all seriousness our relationship with America remains one of our closet historical ties although their current President certainly does divide opinion. As we go through some introspection regarding leaving the EU and our strategic and trading partnerships across the world it is important that we consider that our shared histories and cultures extend far beyond the influence of the leaders of the time. When I was in Canada and America with the International Trade Committee earlier this year the Government officials and business representatives we met were both enthusiastic about opportunities for the future both in terms of our industries and our cultural relationship. The term ‘special friendship’ is overused but there is an undeniable fondness there.

Our aeronautical engineering expertise means I am in regular conversation with Boeing as well as Leonardo and the possibilities for collaboration between the two are something we often explore. Sales of the AW139 in the USA as well as maintenance and supply chains in Apache and other products as well as new capabilities in unmanned are areas in which the companies should work together to mutual advantage – and in a sense a superb example of the UK’s skill base making it hugely relevant to both Europe and the US. Whether it’s these companies leading the way from Somerset or the Midlands being at the forefront of the electric car revolution with input from local innovators like Ariel Motors, Research and Development is absolutely key to our prosperous future and that is something the Government is taking very seriously indeed.

As always, if you would like to get in touch about any of these issues or to make an appointment at one of my advice surgeries please do call 01935314321 or email me at