Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has today met with representatives of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, ahead of votes this month on Theresa May’s Brexit deal to hear views and concerns.
Businesses of all sizes in all sectors are concerned about the lack of planning for a no-deal scenario from Government. Despite recent and last minute efforts by Ministers to prepare for no-deal, many firms are already pausing investment, stockpiling goods and enacting contingency plans in the absence of clarity from the Government.
In advance of the meeting, Maureen Frost, Chief Executive of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce wrote to Mr Morgan:
“While many companies are actively preparing for a no-deal scenario, there are also hundreds of thousands who have yet to start – and cannot be expected to be ready in such a short space of time.
Firms need clarity, precision and reassurance. The longer businesses wait to understand what the future UK-EU relationship will look like, the bigger the hit to their near-term investment, expansion and confidence.
What they want is to know who they will be able to hire in future, how they will pay VAT, whether their goods will be stopped at borders, and whether the contracts they enter into will be enforceable”.
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce have already met with a number of local businesses that have operations across Europe in order to discuss the best ways in which to prepare.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“Research from the British Chambers of Commerce shows that in a ‘no-deal’ scenario, many businesses would cut investment and recruitment, or move some of their operations elsewhere.
It was really helpful to meet with local representatives to continue to hear concerns from city businesses, as part of ongoing dialogue I’ve been having with fellow residents and our community.
It is clear from what I hear, that for businesses, time is rapidly running out. Even basic business planning for next year has become difficult, if not impossible, for many firms and their investors”.
Five British business groups, including the CBI have also expressed their concerns. The CBI have said that there is simply not enough time to prevent ‘severe dislocation and disruption’ and that ‘firms are pausing or diverting investment that should be boosting productivity, innovation, jobs and pay.
Mr Morgan has undertaken a survey across the constituency asking for people’s views on Brexit; pressed the Government on it’s economic analysis on Brexit and its impact on Portsmouth; repeatedly written to Ministers with concerns; used his role on the Public Accounts Committee to scrutinise Whitehall’s preparedness for Brexit; and; brought down the Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer MP to hear small businesses’ views.
Speaking ahead of the meaningful vote in Parliament expected this month, the MP added:
“Labour has been clear from the beginning that we must ensure jobs and our economy are protected, and standards and protections guaranteed.
A no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for jobs in Portsmouth, the nation’s economy and the border in Northern Ireland. It is simply not a viable option. It is testament to the Prime Minister’s failure that this is even being discussed.
That is why I will work with colleagues across all parties and all in Parliament to block a no-deal as soon as the Government’s half-baked Brexit deal is voted down”.
Data released shows a shocking number of children and young people struggling with mental disorders and falling numbers of specialist consultant psychiatrists.
The figures, collected by NHS Digital and released by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ show that one in eight (12.8%) children and young people aged between five and 19 had a mental disorder in England in 2017. This is around 1.25 million children and young people.
Only one in four children and young people with a mental disorder are seen by a mental health specialist and over 400,000 children and young people are not getting any professional help at all.
In conjunction with these statistics, there has also been a drop in the number of consultant psychiatrists specialising in helping children and young people.
Across England, the number of consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists, the most senior doctors specialising in children’s mental health, has declined by 5.1% since August 2014. The latest training programme data shows that 60% of training places for child and adolescent psychiatry were unfilled.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“The Government talks a lot about improvements to mental health services but that is all it is, talk.
“The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper sets out plans to improve service provision and strengthen the link between schools and the NHS.
But by the Government’s own estimates, a quarter of a million children and young people who could be helped will still be missing out in five years, this is simply not good enough. Young people in Portsmouth and across the country need better access to support now.
“I will continue to lobby Ministers to commit to a significant improvement in access to services, and to recruiting and retaining physiatrists that can provide the specialist care that children and young people with mental disorders so desperately need.”
The constituency office at 72 Albert Road is now closed until Wednesday 2 January 2019.
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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South
Stephen Morgan MP completes programme of visits to meet troops across the UK as part of Parliamentary scheme
The Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme opens a unique window into the world of everyday life in the armed forces and the tasks they are asked to undertake on our behalf.
The objective of the scheme is to help parliamentarians understand the work of the armed forces and foster genuine personally informed contributions to participate in defence debates.
In his first year, Stephen chose to join the Royal Navy Scheme. In addition to his regular visits to HMNB Portsmouth, he met service personnel at bases across the UK including, Faslane, Plymouth, Yeovilton, the Defence Academy, and London, and visited those on deployment in Cyprus and Kenya. He’s observed peace-keeping operations, Operation Shader – the fight against ISIS in Syria, and the UK’s fleet of submarines based in Scotland.
Spending time with our troops enabled Stephen to identify a number of issues that informed his campaigning in Parliament including armed forces pay, recruitment and retention issues, cyber-warfare developments, and the black hole in the defence budget.
This year, Stephen has once again signed up to the scheme, this time joining the RAF to find out more about their work protecting our nation, in partnership with the Royal Navy.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
“It has been a real honour to join the brave men and women of our armed forces to see their skill and commitment first hand.
As MP for the home of the Royal Navy and a proud champion of our Armed Forces, it’s been incredibly valuable to speak with and observe the operations of service personnel over the last year.
It’s something I’ll continue to do as I fight for a strong defence of our nation and proper recognition and pay for those who serve it.”
I want to thank all the people who make this scheme possible, especially those members of the armed forces who’ve hosted me and made my time so far in the programme so instructive.
AFPS hasn’t just been informative from an operational perspective, it’s been great to spend time off-duty with service personnel and hear about their daily lives and how I can support them more widely.”
Just over 30 MPs from across the House and parties ‘graduated’ from the programme. MPs and peers attended a ceremony at the National RAF Museum with the Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson and Shadow Defence Secretary, Nia Griffith.
MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has visited staff at the new 24/7 primary care service in central Portsmouth.
The Integrated Primary Care Service has been established to enhance patient experience and improve access to GP services in the city. The service opened earlier this year and incorporates the existing Acute Visiting Service and Extended Access Service and adds Out of Hours provision overnight.
The linking of these services leads to the provision of a more streamlined and unified model for people needing urgent out-of-hospital care.
Appointments can be accessed during the evenings and weekends at a city-wide hub at Lake Road Health Centre. Additional routine appointments are available as well as urgent same-day appointment every day until 10pm 365 days a year.
The service sees around 2,500 patients referred each month.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
“The IPC Service is a brilliant example of our city’s NHS innovating and improving in the face of significant demographic and financial challenges.
The commitment and skill of the staff I spoke to was obvious and this new system will ensure that they can continue to help people in Portsmouth.
This is an incredibly busy service and this new integration should go some way in reducing pressure on our A&E as well as improving access to GPs.”