This week I secured an Urgent Question to the Immigration Minister about the measures he is seeking to introduce with regard to asylum applications. It is not easy to get aUQ granted and I had tried several times over the course of the last few weeks and was finally granted it for Wednesday. I wanted to get on the record in the House of Commons that I believe his plans to introduce pop up camps for asylum seekers, remote from any services including healthcare, and in the case of the one proposed for Barton Stacey without mains water, are wholly inappropriate. They are opposed by the leading refugee charities, and it has been very useful to have good friends and connections in those organisations to discuss these plans with.
The Brexit negotiations are rumbling on, which is a better thing than for them to have collapsed altogether. I know there are mixed views on this across the constituency, but I have always been clear a deal is better than no deal, so I still keep optimistic that we will end up with an amicable separation rather than an acrimonious divorce.
I am keeping good to my commitment to only buy local for Christmas, which has been a great opportunity to support local retailers. My sparkly face mask from Bergman and Brown was much admired at the Romsey Youth Choir Christmas Concert last weekend, a fab find whilst browsing for a Secret Santa present for Amber Rudd. I am reasonably confident she isn’t reading the Romsey Advertiser so won’t know it was from me, but I do have to reflect Parliament is a poorer place for not having her in it. 12 months on from the 2019 General Election seemed a good time to reflect on those I miss.