Another terrific week travelling around the South East and meeting a lot of you. Thank you to everyone who has connected through social media, it is so nice to then meet you in person. Great to meet @sfosterld and the Portsmouth team during the week.
On Thursday I was at Kennet Radio in Newbury discussing all things Brexit with Russ Shackleton- check out the programme 5pm this Sunday @kennetradio. We talked about the damage that a no deal Brexit will cause, why Brexit is NOT inevitable and talked about all the positive reasons for staying in the EU; Life, love, security and business – There is not much in our day to day lives that is not improved by working with our closest neighbours. Then it was onwards to a Curry night with Bracknell Forest East LibDems, where they were celebrating the election of the very first LibDem councillor onto Bracknell Forest Council. Good luck team! I am sure that with this great start you will win seats next time too!
On Friday it was full steam “Bollocks to Brexit” at Reading Festival as part of Team Remain- a cross party group, led by Berkshire for Europe and Open Britain Berkshire. So many people came to have a selfie at the Team Remain stand – including Femi, who told me about his trip around the UK to find out about the impact of Brexit on Young People. All the festival goers that we met understand that life IS better inside the EU. We gave out 31,000 stickers- just fantastic! If you came to say ‘hi’ in the sun, thank you! It is your voices that are being heard the world over at events like this.
On a more serious note, over the weekend, we were all horrified to hear of the wildfires burning in the Amazon rainforest, the impact of which will be felt across the world. There really are no borders when it comes to clean air and the impact of this loss on the hundreds of people who live in the forest will also be felt deeply by the entire planet. Our MEP group sent a letter to Commissioner Malemstrom to increase pressure on Brazil to act.
My final trip for this week was over to the Isle of Wight for a discussion on “Innovation on the Island”, with Richard Peckham former Chair of UKSpace, and Rosie Jones, Tech transfer Manager extraordinaire. It was a brilliant evening with discussion about education and vocational training on the island as well as how councils and government should be helping entrepreneurs and inventors turn their innovations into valuable businesses, employing people and adding to the economy. The reason I care about business is because this is where most people get jobs. Time for my favourite fact from the FSB: SME’S account for 60% of all private sector employment in the UK and yet Brexit would hit these companies hardest.
And finally – APPRENTICES: My Newsletter has just come out this week with an emphasis on Apprentices and I urge you to sign up if you have not already. I will be taking a large group of Apprentices over to Brussels in October to meet with MEPs and talk about the future of Apprenticeships if we leave the EU without a deal. If this is something that interests you or someone you know, do sign up for information about the trip here.