Local MP voted to support Mrs May’s Brexit deal in Parliament this evening.

Faversham and Kent MP Mrs Helen Whately was one of the 242 supporters who voted for Mrs May’s Brexit deal which was defeated by 391 votes to 242. Although Mrs Whately previously was a Remainer she voted to support Brexit and represents a constituency where 58% of the electorate voted for Brexit in June 2016.

Details of all of the votes cast by MP’s is at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2019/mar/12/how-did-your-mp-vote-in-the-march-brexit-votes

There are 17 days to go before Brexit at 11pm on 29th March 2019 and preparations are in hand for a “no deal departure” including Operation Brock on the M20 from Junction 8 in Hollingbourne to Junction 9 in Ashford. The Kent Resilience Forum is coordinating plans to cope with issues that may arise from a “no deal” Brexit. Their website is http://www.kentprepared.org.uk/

Currently the Forum is not recommending that householders stockpile food and other supplies because of delivery problems from the EU that may arise if the UK leaves the EU Customs Union which will cause major traffic problems around Dover and the Eurotunnel. More information has been promised to the Parish Council if the UK is likely to leave the UK at the end of the month and no other arrangements are in place.

During Operation Stack in 2015 when the M20 was used to store lorries, there were significant traffic problems all over Kent and local businesses in Hollingbourne were adversely affected. It is hoped that Operation Brock will not impact on Kent in the same way.

Mrs Whately’s recent voting record on Brexit issues is at http://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/local-mps-voting-record-on-brexit/

For the 42% of local voters who opposed Brexit which is a number that may have increased for various reasons including demographic changes, there is a rally in London on Saturday 23rd March and more details are at https://www.peoples-vote.uk/ Mrs Whately can be contacted at helen.whately.mp@parliament.uk

Pictured below is the M20 at Hollingbourne which the Highways Agency is preparing for use as a lorry storage park on the coastbound side and for contraflow traffic on the London bound side. Over a fifth of the UK’s trade in goods passes through Hollingbourne on the transport corridor which includes the M29, A20, HS1, and the mainline to Ashford and Folkestone. This suggest that Hollingbourne may be strategically important.

The M20 from the Eyhorne Street bridge showing the new Operation Brock steel barrier – February 2019.