The referendum to leave the EU look place more than three years ago. We must now get on with it, deal or no deal.
Yet preparation is vital if we are to make the most of Brexit’s many opportunities. That’s why I am hugely encouraged by Boris' premiership so far.
Already he has committed to 500 new Border Force officers, as well as improved infrastructure at ports like ours. Reports suggest that at least £1 billion of extra funding will be made available immediately for no-deal planning and preparation. High-level meetings are to be held every day to discuss contingency plans.
Everyone knows this ramping up is something I have long called for. Not only is it a sensible precaution, it means European leaders know we are serious, giving us a better chance of securing a good deal.
As your MP, I will continue to work tirelessly to represent our community. The first thing I did after the referendum was set out a blueprint for getting the border ready. Working with industry leaders, a series of papers detailed exactly what was needed to ensure our border would be ready on day one.
We formed a Brexit Task Force at Dover District Council. I met time and again with Transport Ministers, Treasury Ministers and Ministers from the Brexit Department to press the case for early preparation and readiness. Millions of pounds were secured– from additional resources for Kent Police and councils to investment in the Channel Ports and transport infrastructure.
Most recently, I welcomed our new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the Port of Dover. He praised the “can-do spirit” in Dover and Deal – and how it contrasted sharply with the gloom mongers who has been working so hard to overturn the referendum and make sure we stay in the EU.
It was important for Boris to see that Dover stands ready. And that what we must now focus on is how Britain must stand ready – so that by October, on Halloween, we can finally bring this nightmare to an end.
Because once we deliver Brexit, we can focus on all the other hugely important things. The recent announcement of an extra 20,000 police officers suggests the new government Is now taking knife crime, county lines drugs gangs and a rising murder rate more seriously.
Yet there is more to do in many other areas. In healthcare, we need to see east Kent’s first ever medical school delivered on time, and the £200 million upgrades for our emergency departments that have long been promised.
We need a renaissance of the regions – so that our kids get as much school funding as their London peers, so that every resident and business in every corner of our area gets decent broadband.
This is why we need to leave the EU and move on. To focus on the many other things that are important for the future of our land. It’s time to get on with it.