What a week it's been. On Thursday we voted to leave the European Union. On Friday the Prime Minister resigned. On Monday nearly 50 Labour Shadow Ministers resigned. We now need to regroup and move forward.
The referendum turnout was huge. The result was close, but clear. We are leaving the European Union. So I will roll up my sleeves and do my bit to make it work. There are three key priorities for our community: to protect jobs, secure trade and ensure our borders remain safe and secure.
Make no mistake, since 2010 we have come a long way together. Our community is the closest to mainland Europe. Dover is the gateway and the guardian of the Kingdom. We successfully fought to stop our port being sold off to the French or whoever. We have worked hard to secure over £100m of investment to our area. Unemployment has near halved. I will do all I can to see we continue to keep up the momentum.
Our area is currently undergoing great renewal and I am passionate that it should continue. The repair of the railway later this year will give us all a real boost. Especially is if it comes sooner than Christmas. As you can imagine I am doing everything possible to urge the quickening of these works so that Dover & Deal are able to get back on track as fast as possible.
Over £100 Billion of trade rumbles through Dover each year. Trade travelling through the port has been growing in double digit figures every year. This trade is the economic lifeblood of our nation. Dover is the largest passenger ferry port in in the World. This is not going to change. Europe will continue to be our major trading partner. It's important that we continue to have cordial relations with European nations and with France, just across the water. I will work tirelessly to promote trade and investment.
Border security is also important. The Mayor of Calais will continue to make noises, as she always has. Yet we have increased the number of border officers since 2010. We have stepped up our patrols at sea. A crack team of sniffer dogs finds people hiding in lorries. Drones are even now taking to the air to aid the strength of our borders. I will do all I can to ensure that our border remains safe and secure.
So it's been an incredible week. There has been nothing like it for over 70 years. Yet our path is clear. We must stick to our long term economic plan which has delivered jobs and money for our nation. We will continue to trade with Europe yet seek new markets across the rest of the World. We will maintain the protection of our borders. We will not only endure. We will prosper in the years to come.
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