Guest blog by Lucy O’Sullivan
Lucy is the parliamentary candidate for the Brexit party for the Brentford & Isleworth constituency, 2019 general election
When you read this blog, we will have only two days left to the General Election.
Unlike many of you in Chiswick, I voted Leave in 2016. My decision to leave was not – as the papers would have it – due to insularity, age, or lack of education – indeed I am the daughter of graduates, trilingual myself and I have a Masters in modern languages from a top flight university. No, unlike all the other candidates, I lived and worked in Brussels for 16 years – and my decision was based on what I witnessed first hand. And which scared me. Lack of any meaningful economic growth, massive youth unemployment (apart from in the UK ) and no useful policies to boost employment, grandiose plans for EU expansion, EU flags, anthem, and planned EU Army … but most of all, our loss of Sovereignty and autonomy. As a EU contractor, I was even flown on a few days EU networking ‘super jolly’ to Finland with 450 others and no justifiable aims. I knew something was very wrong…. As the second largest contributor, WE – you and me – paid for that trip and the EU’s now permanent ‘largesse’.
And this week when I see riots and strikes paralysing France because Macron is trying to streamline their overgenerous pensions system – public sector pensions eat up 16% of Government spending (in UK its 6%) …I despair. No wonder 70% of French school pupils want jobs in … the public sector. THAT’s the height of their ambition. An easy life with big fat salaries, big fat perks and even bigger, fatter, pensions at the end. Let me say it again: WE ARE THE EU’s SECOND LARGEST CONTRIBUTOR.
I want to see our country succeed. I want to see our country thrive. I want to see our country welcoming the brightest and the best from around the world not just from the protectionist EU. And I want our children and grand children to be well educated, to have ambition, creativity and fulfilment. We are the world’s fifth most successful economy let’s stay that way or surpass it! But if the Boris/May Treaty goes through Parliament unamended we will find it virtually impossible (‘LEVEL playing field’, ‘regulatory alignment’ ‘no State aid’ ) to make trade deals with any other part of the world and we will find everything from financial services to our forgotten fisheries bound by EU law…which WE fund and pay for. The Brexit Party need seats in Parliament to keep the Tories to their ‘promises’.
My (now adult) children were at Chiswick & Bedford Park pre-prep school so, naturally, early in 2008 we returned back to this vibrant West London area. I noticed the streets were far busier, traffic denser, cultural activities broader, hospitals bursting, house renting and buying exorbitant, and the cost of living prohibitive for the many. So the first thing to tackle in Brentford and Isleworth is the cost of living. This could be done when we leave the EU immediately by reducing tariffs on imported non-EU goods. Twenty per cent of UK food items are sourced out of the EU and leaving would allow us to have zero tariffs on certain foods, footwear and clothing. Secondly, the Brexit Party wants to cut VAT on domestic fuel. EU rules stop this happening but we would zero rate energy bills immediately we leave and saving an average £65 per household.
And what of our beloved NHS? The Brexit Party wants to invest in the NHS and to improve local services: unlike the other parties, we wish to implement 24hr GP surgeries and create a new non-degree level nursing qualification providing more medical and care staff in hospitals and homes.
Chiswick High Road is a car choked thoroughfare. CS9 adoption, though very divisive, might – after obvious disruption – inject some real local community feel to the area. And the Brexit party wants to invest in all our high streets, – alongside reforms to corporation tax, we would replace business rates with a simpler system funded by an online sales tax. This would make an immediate difference. Local shops and businesses must be locally supported and encouraged or we’ll lose them. After 25 years as a business consultant, I see such support as crucial to my own business success.
We would also tackle the terrible scourge of homelessness which we see on the streets of West London. We would change the funding model so councils could borrow from central government more easily to build council houses. And we would allow more flexibility in the number of affordable homes within a development scheme.
We would definitely increase police numbers – provide more visible policing on the streets and ensure focus on combating violent crime, robbery and burglary rather than as we see currently, enforcing restrictions on free speech. We also – as a priority – wish to stop the menace of drug dealers, youth gangs and the horrendous growth of knife crimes. This should not be happening in a ‘civilised’ society.
Finally, all of us at the Brexit Party intend reforming our political system so that Parliament truly represents and works for the people – and not just for ‘career politicians’. We alone are the New Radicals.
You may read our ‘Contract with the People’ at www.thebrexitparty.org