Local MP presses Prime Minister for the best Brexit deal for Hollingbourne.

Faversham and Mid Kent MP Mrs Helen Whately yesterday pressed the Prime Minister for the best possible Brexit deal for Faversham and Mid Kent which includes Hollingbourne. The text of her parliamentary question and the answer reprinted from Hansard, originally known as Cobbett’s Parliamentary Debates until 1811, appears below.

Helen Whately Vice-Chair, Conservative Party
Negotiating a good deal is hard; anyone who has negotiated anything will know that it is hard to get a good deal and none of us has tried to negotiate anything like this. May I urge my right hon. Friend to continue to hold her nerve and not to capitulate, as some would have her do? I urge her to hold her nerve and negotiate the best possible deal for my constituents and our country.

Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party
Absolutely. This is the time when we need to hold our nerve as we come to the end of these negotiations, to get that good deal.

More information about Mrs Whately’s voting record and parliamentary activity is at https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/25398/helen_whately/faversham_and_mid_kent  . Mrs Whately was formerly an opponent of Brexit and may lose her seat if the proposed changes to parliamentary constituencies takes place in which case Hollingbourne and the southern part of Faversham and Mid Kent will form part of an enlarged Tonbridge Constituency while Faversham would join Canterbury. The plan is to reduce the number of constituencies from 650 to 600. Prior to the June 2016 Referendum Mrs Whately was reportedly a Remainer.

One particular Brexit issue that may affect Hollingbourne is the fact that the M20 from Junction 8 at Hollingbourne to Junction 9 will be used to store thousands of lorries awaiting transit at Dover and Eurotunnel because of delays caused by the withdrawal from the EU Customs Union. Work has already started on the London bound side so it can carry traffic in both directions with the hard shoulder being used as an extra lane so that there are two lanes in both directions. Since work started at the end of August the narrowness of the two lane London bound carriageway has resulted in frequent accidents because vehicles clip either the central barrier or the newly installed separation barrier in the middle of the four lanes on the coast bound side. Just now the London bound traffic is using the two lane section which will become the coast bound carriageway while the hard shoulder side is being strengthened for the London bound traffic.

The arrangements for storing lorries not just on the M20 but on the two lane M26 as well will be known as Operation Brock and it assumed that Kent County Council will provide loos and other facilities alongside the motorways for waiting lorry drivers. In 2015 when Operation stack lasted for over 30 days because of problems in Calais and the M20 was used to store lorries, traffic in surrounding areas was also affected.

Mrs Whately can be contacted at  helen.whately.mp@parliament.uk

Local MP Helen Whately pictured with MBC Borough Councillor Patrik Garten (right) who represents Hollingbourne.