The referendum result was a momentous decision, and we should be proud that it was only a Conservative majority government who were prepared to put this question directly to the people in a national referendum, the first one for 41 years. Now a decisive result has been delivered, as a country we need to get on and secure the best possible future for Britain.
The last few weeks have undoubtedly been a bruising time for British politics. No doubt many people have woken this morning elated at the decision, but equally, many will be anxious about the country’s future. I can sympathise with both of these sentiments.
The Prime Minister’s decision to step down is understandable in the circumstances. He has provided strong and capable leadership of the party for ten years and the country for six. I am glad that the Prime Minister will provide much-needed stability and continuity in the next few months. However, it will clearly fall to the next leader to deliver the critical Article 50 negotiations.
Whilst it is critical that Britain’s exit from the EU is handled carefully and in the best interests of the UK for the coming decades, my priority in Westminster will continue to be championing Salisbury: I want to see more high quality jobs here, greater investment and more opportunities for our young people. Leaving the European Union does not alter that ambition in the slightest.
This Conservative government has delivered more people in work than ever before and economic growth. However, we need to remember that there is still more to be done. As the Prime Minister said just a few months ago, ‘the economy can’t be secure if we spend billions of pounds on picking up the pieces of social failure and our society can’t be strong and cohesive as long as there are millions of people who feel locked out of it’.
I went into politics because I wanted to deliver a society where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their aspirations – however they start in life. My time in Westminster will continue to be spent pursuing that goal.
As we take forward this decisive democratic decision, I will maintain pressure on Ministers to make the most of this opportunity for Britain. I will continue to work as hard as I can for the people of Salisbury and South Wiltshire as your Member of Parliament.