PARLIAMENTARIAN OF THE WEEK – SIR RICHARD SHEPHERD

SIR RICHARD SHEPHERD MP IS THE FREEDOM ASSOCIATION’S ‘PARLIAMENTARIAN OF THE WEEK’

THE FREEDOM ASSOCIATION AWARDED SIR RICHARD SHEPHERD THE TITLE OF PARLIAMENTARIAN OF THE WEEK.

The Freedom Association report states,

“It has been a very difficult decision to make this week. There were many fine speeches made in the House of Commons yesterday opposing the Government’s plans to sign-up Britain to the European Arrest Warrant. Honourable mentions must go to Sir William Cash MP, Sir Gerald Howarth MP, Bernard Jenkin MP, David Nuttall MP, Dominic Raab MP, and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, for their insightful contributions.

Honourable mentions also go to Tom Watson MP and David Davis MP, for their critical questioning of the Home Secretary after she announced that the Government is to rush through the Data Retention and Investigation Powers (Drip) Bill through both Houses of Parliament next week, even though the Government has had months to present legislation without forcing it through Parliament with very little debate.

After much deliberation though, our ‘Parliamentarian of the Week’ is Sir Richard Shepherd, Conservative MP for Aldridge-Brownhills.

Sir Richard has had a long and distinguished career as a parliamentarian, and his speech yesterday showed he has not lost any of his passion and belief in our parliamentary democracy. During yesterday’s debate he said:

“I have also seen the continuing theme of membership of the European Union over all that time. It has never quite been a settled issue. For all the trumpets and bands, all the songs and the universal praise, there is a deep underlying tug. It is really about a sense of country. Who are we? It has always been about that. That, after all, is the first duty of a sovereign state, I would argue: to protect the interests, freedoms and liberties that we have enjoyed under our form of constitutional arrangements. What we are really seeing is a struggle over the British constitution. Oh, but does it not evolve over time? Yet, looking back, there has been one constant theme, which is that people profoundly believed in many of the central precepts of what constitutes a sovereign state.”

He went on to say:

“The whole course of the European project has been to avoid any engagement with the people over what is a non-democratic and largely unsuccessful Union, other than for the transfer of vast sums of money. We have to do something about that, and these opt-ins, opt-outs, see-all-round-abouts amount, in the end, to what the Government disguise and pretend is not really happening, as if it were a grand scheme. I have lost all confidence in understanding what central Government or the Foreign Office do these days, other than remaining quiet.”

I offer Sir Richard Shepherd my congratulations as the worthy recipient of this week’s ‘Parliamentarian of the Week’ award.”