Most of you will know that I campaigned passionately for the UK to remain in the European Union. However, that moment has now passed and I fully accept the democratic decision reached. We must look to the future for Britain and for Burnley and Padiham. The very important business of assessing the impact of our withdrawal from the EU is now in full swing. We have not as yet left the EU but the announcement of our intention to do so has already brought about change. The value of the pound is the lowest that it has been for 31 years. This of course means that we will see prices rise in our shops, holidaymakers will pay more for their Euros and Dollars etc. and the price of petrol will rise. In general there has been a rush in the last few days for external investors to withdraw their money from the UK.
As a member of the Health Select Committee I am aware of changes to medical research programmess and I was saddened to hear a couple of days ago that already an EU funded, ten year project to investigate rare bone diseases in children has been cancelled. I also know that there is currently a massive shortage of staff in the NHS and given that 10,000 of our doctors and 55,000 of our careworkers are from the EU, the situation is set to get a whole lot worse. And of course we will not see any extra investment in the NHS, contrary to the claims of the leading brexiteers. So we must look to our Government to tackle these issues. It will no longer be possible for them to blame Europe for the problems of the day.
In recent years the economic regeneration projects in Burnley and Padiham have benefitted from significant amounts of EU funding. It is therefore essential post brexit that the Conservative Government steps in to fill these funding gaps. So in conclusion I fully accept the result of a democratic ballot but we must make sure that the Government deals with the consequences of this decision. Shockingly, the Government does not have a plan to manage this withdrawal but they must now urgently act to deal with the impact of the forthcoming changes to ensure the best possible settlement for our country.