All five candidates for the Faversham and Mid Kent Constituency which includes Hollingbourne at the General Election on 8th June have been asked for their views on local issues. These include the impact of Brexit on the ability of the NHS locally to retain staff recruited from the EU, the effect of no Customs Union with the EU which could lead to major traffic delays on the M20, and the move of passport controls from Calais to Dover which could also create problems. Additionally candidates were asked for their views on the long promised resurfacing of the M20 between Junctions 8 and 9 and development at Junction 8 of the M20 at Woodcut Farm.
Mr Michael Desmond, the Labour Party Candidate, writes:-
On allowing European Union citizens to stay after Brexit, Labour is committed to immediately reassuring them if elected, confirming existing rights (and obligations), removing the wholly unnecessary uncertainty that arose following the referendum. It is neither tactically astute, nor morally acceptable to use tax-paying EU citizens working here as bargaining chips. It has understandably put the backs up of all other EU countries, whom we would obviously expect to offer a reciprocal deal in relation to UK citizens, in their countries. This, and the inappropriate mention of security in the Article 50 letter, fills us with doubt as to the ability of the Conservatives to negotiate a deal at all. Labour has a most able team led by former Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Keir Starmer, who is both competent and astute. We need stability in the Health Service, the figures obtained show what a significant contribution is being made.
On the Customs Union, Labour oppose withdrawal – and, I might add, will not leave the EU if realistic and pragmatic terms cannot be negotiated – as a minimum, we will arrange a transitory arrangement to avoid a cliff edge. We must respect the Referendum vote, but any deal will be put before Parliament. The current situation regarding Operation Stack is disappointing, if arrangements are not made to avoid huge congestion at Dover, local residents will be hugely inconvenienced. Labour will ensure this issue is at the forefront of negotiations, if elected, I will submit firm proposals myself, having discussed them first with affected residents in Hollingbourne and other similar places.
During the course of the campaign, I will write to the Highways Agency asking them to tackle the noisy section of the M20 between Junction 8 at Hollingbourne and Junction 9 in Ashford, there is a considerable economy of scale if essential maintenance work can be carried out in one go.
Labour Parliamentary candidate
Faversham and Mid Kent
Pictured below is Michael Desmond.