Today I raised border security issues in Parliament with the Immigration Minister. The previous Labour Government took away many of our civil liberties in the name of counter terrorism while doing nothing on border control. So I pressed the case that we should dismantle Labour's Police state and do more to strengthen our borders. This matters to us as many people locally work for UKBA and are losing their jobs - especially recently on the French side of the border.
I asked: "Is not proper border control an essential part of a review to deal with terrorism? It is no good building a police state at home if we allow pretty much anyone, be they friend or foe, to wander into the country. Will the Minister consider stronger measures?"
The Immigration Minister replied: "My hon. Friend makes a good point. Clearly, having strong and secure borders is one of the essential elements in our fight against international terrorism, and that, as he knows, is why one of the Government's priorities is to make our borders more secure. We have been making significant progress on that over the past nine months."
I went on to ask for a debate on the NHS. This is because I want to draw the House of Commons' attention to how we lost out in healthcare in the past and how we need to see through the promise we now have of a new hospital for Dover.
I said: "May we have a debate on the NHS? In my constituency, our hospital has been decimated and all but closed over the past decade. A new hospital has now been announced by a new Government, with the beds provided by GP commissioning. It is important that the House explore that issue and the ring-fencing of the NHS budget compared with the cuts proposed by the previous Government."
The Leader of the House replied: "I welcome my hon. Friend's remarks. I hope that he will speak on Second Reading of the Health and Social Care Bill to make the point, which he just touched on briefly, that GP commissioning is the way forward, is popular in his constituency, and is the right way to go as we reform the NHS."
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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