The result of the Brexit referendum and the uncertainties of the negotiating period that has followed have already seen serious damage to our economy. The City of London estimates that over 7,000 jobs in our financial sector have already gone abroad with an estimated loss of revenue to the Exchequer of £1billion. Our economy has not grown at the rate that was expected and has fallen behind most of our key European competitors.
Our constituency is fortunate to be at the economic heart of the UK. Our businesses thrive from their proximity to London and the Oxford-Cambridge corridor and our residents include some of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs. But we are also the beneficiaries of our trade links with Europe. Buckinghamshire County Council has calculated that 39% of exports from South Bucks go to the EU and from Wycombe 57%. Buckinghamshire exports around £200 million of pharmaceuticals a year to Europe every year and receives in exchange nearly £500 million as part of complex international supply chains. This constituency therefore faces considerable challenges if the UK leaves the EU.
I will continue to work with local businesses to help them grow and provide employment.
Both the Conservatives and Labour have announced substantial spending programmes seeking to improve public services. In the case of Labour the figure envisages borrowing £55billion a year for the next five years. Such a figure would wreck our creditworthiness and if interest rates go up, would provoke a crisis in which the economy suffers. Massive cuts would have to be made and taxes would have to rise. It would be wholly irresponsible to borrow so heavily. The claim that nationalisation leads to the improvement of services is seriously flawed as all available evidence is that it does the reverse. I will do all in my power, if elected, to challenge irresponsible and illogical economic policy.
The Conservative Party spending plans are also highly ambitious and are dependent on a growing economy to work. The party offers no explanation as to how the economy will be revived when or if we leave the EU. If that happens the coming years will be dominated by the difficulties this is going to create. The current suggestion from Sajid Javid that such plans can work without additional taxation has not been worked through.
I am personally a strong believer in sound finance and leaving money in people’s own pockets to the extent compatible with well-funded public services. I will do all I can to promote sound economic policies and oppose those which are not.