The Life at Westminster column with Sir Greg Knight MP

Last year Parliament received an e-petition defining fireworks as a 'nuisance to the public'.
Last year Parliament received an e-petition defining fireworks as a 'nuisance to the public'.

I suspect I am not alone in being fed up with the very mention of the word “Brexit”. We have had endless hours of Parliamentary debate and daily I continue to receive a wide range of correspondence, covering a full spectrum of opinion from those wanting us to remain in the EU, some with and some without a second referendum, to those who just want us to leave.

However, not all kinds of exit would be compatible with our referendum decision to leave the EU, which I believe should be respected.

Suggestions such as remaining in the EU Customs Union would not be consistent with us leaving and taking back the power to make laws in our UK Parliament.

Also, the currently proposed Withdrawal Agreement would leave us trapped indefinitely as a satellite of the EU, obeying its laws without a say, unless the EU gave their permission for us to leave. Democratically, we would be in a worse position than now, and potentially with no lawful means of escape.

Secondly, it requires us to pay £39bn – and that is £1,400 per UK family, for which we get nothing in return.

I am disappointed that some of my MP colleagues still want to stop the Brexit process because I believe that to fail to honour the referendum result, either by accepting a hopeless deal, or by holding a further referendum, would disaffect most of the electorate – and rightly so.

Most people are tired of the bickering over Brexit and want us just to agree a deal and move on. I agree with them.

I still hope that we can achieve an exit based on an advanced free trade agreement, so we become once again an independent country, and do not turn into a satellite of the EU.

Although Bonfire night has been and gone, MPs are still receiving correspondence asking for the sale of fireworks to be banned.

Last year Parliament also received an e-petition defining fireworks as a ‘nuisance to the public that injure thousands of people every year’, adding that they can cause damage to buildings and vehicles, and also scare animals.

Nearly 300,000 people signified that they share this view.

The RSPCA is also unhappy and wants the private use of fireworks to be restricted to certain key dates, namely the November 5, New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year.

However, others disagree and say that firework displays can create ‘a happy community coming together across the age divide….particularly if pets are kept firmly locked indoors’.

The Government has indicated that it currently has no plans to take action but there is growing support amongst MP’s for further restrictions on fireworks to be imposed, so this is an issue which, like Brexit, will undoubtedly feature in our Parliamentary debates again during 2019.