Margot Parker

Margot Parker

MargotParker

Margot Parker is the Member of European Parliament for the UK Independence Party in the East Midlands. She was elected in 2014.


I recently gave my backing to a worldwide day of zero tolerance on female genital mutilation.

As my party’s spokesperson on women’s issues and equalities, I felt it was important to draw attention to this barbaric and disgusting practice, which sadly still goes on.

The day of action, organised by the United Nations, follows shocking reports that between April, 2015 and March last year, doctors assessed 8,656 cases and recorded thousands of new historic cases.

FGM has been illegal in the UK for more than 30 years – including if girls are sent ‘home’ to be mutilated in the name of culture.

And despite robust legislation existing to stop this abuse from occurring, there has not been a single conviction in this country in all that time.

There is no religious requirement for girls to undergo FGM, so even that flimsiest of excuses is absent.

This is entirely about keeping women in their place, asserting power over them and destroying their sexual identities.

The practice is barbaric and is something we should, as a society, make clear is not acceptable under any circumstances and politically correct cultural sensitivities be damned.

That is why I supported the United Nations call and the campaigns to end this practice and end it quickly.

We must have better education and we certainly must use the law in tougher and more robust manner.

The country is also crying out for better support networks and the message to be hammered home at schools, mosques, community centres and every other possible venue regardless of concerns about offending someone’s ‘culture’.

For instance, this month I called on Ealing Council to continue its funding of the Acton FGM Clinic, which faces closure because of a lack of funds.

We should be supporting more of these clinics, not pulling funding and threatening their very existence.

We simply cannot afford to let cultural sensitivities, political correctness or community intransigence to turn us from fighting FGM and other cultural symbols of abusive male dominance, female de-sexualisation and the outright de-humanisation of women.

I will be speaking to our annual spring conference in Bolton about this issue on Friday, February 17, and hope to raise the profile of the fight against this barbarism even further.

Margot Parker is the Member of European Parliament for the UK Independence Party in the East Midlands. She was elected in 2014.

What a year it has been for this country.

Across Lincolnshire and beyond, thousands voted for us to leave the EU.

We did it – we won the referendum and we started the process of freeing ourselves from the shackles of the European Union.

The vote will change this country for the better and lead to more opportunities for people nationwide. All of you who worked so hard to achieve Brexit can be so proud of yourselves.

But, of course, there is still work to do, both at home and in the corridors of power within the EU. Even after all those months, many of the Remain side are not accepting the will of the people and are trying to stop, thwart or hold-up Brexit. Others are calling for a second referendum.

We need to keep showing that strong will and desire to leave the EU to our new Prime Minister – ‘Brexit means Brexit,’ she said – now let’s push on and trigger Article 50.

The doom and gloom which many of the Remain camp predicted has not happened. The scare tactics didn’t work and people have realised this.

With the Tories still confused about what Brexit actually means and The Labour Party in total disarray, (in fact, they don’t seem to know what anything means), UKIP is now in an incredibly strong position in Lincolnshire and beyond to drive forward Brexit.

Far from the claim that the UK would be isolated by voting to leave we are seeing the beginnings of global involvement not apparent since we cut ourselves off from The Commonwealth and the rest of the world by joining the then EEC in 1975.

Of course, in Lincolnshire itself we have had another election in Sleaford and North Hykeham. Victoria Ayling stood for us and came second – with Labour in fourth.

Yet another step on the long road to the next general election, where I am confident UKIP will make strong gains in this county and other parts of the UK.

People want better health care, small businesses need to cut red tape, young people want a good, balanced education and job prospects. Only UKIP can achieve this.

Meanwhile, may I wish all your readers across Lincolnshire a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

New Year’s resolutions

Personal

On a personal note I don’t set resolutions anymore. I think it’s important though, to learn something new each year and implement them the following year.

Professional

On a wider note, I do hope next year a decision is made to maintain and restore services at Grantham Hospital. After marching with the campaign groups, I understand the great concerns and worries and people have.

Margot Parker is the Member of European Parliament for the UK Independence Party in the East Midlands. She was elected in 2014.

The forthcoming by-election in Sleaford and North Hykeham, triggered by the resignation of Conservative MP Stephen Phillips, will see a heavy focus on Brexit and Britain’s relationship with the EU.

It is an ideal opportunity to not only push further for answers on when Article 50 will be invoked but also to allay the lingering ‘Project Fear’ predictions.

Certainly, there has been some encouraging economic news since the referendum, and it is this we need to press home in this by-election and beyond.

For instance, I read with interest recently about new grants from East Lindsey District Council. This new micro business grant is looking to help small businesses of up to nine employees.

It’s great to see councils supporting small businesses and I’m confident once we finally leave the EU those businesses in Lincolnshire and the rest of the country will benefit even more.

I’m also pleased there is already news of increased investment in exports by small businesses.

The SME confidence tracker has shown more small businesses are looking at exporting than before the referendum vote in June.

It is clear the potential for global trade after Brexit is being realised by many small businesses and they are already looking at ways to grasp the many opportunities we will now have.

It is quite revealing – only 6% of small businesses exported to the EU, yet all were subject to EU laws and regulations.

That so many more already feel liberated to more fully engage with the world is very encouraging and I am sure we will see these figures continue to rise as the UK reclaims its place as a global trading nation.

I think it is now abundantly clear to everyone that the predictions of total economic collapse on June 24 have not come true.

While the continued pessimism and negativity shown by some institutions, organisations and prominent individuals doubtless has a less-than-helpful effect on the value of the pound, the resilience of the UK economy is showing with consumer and business confidence growing across the board.

Once Article 50 is triggered we will see more and more trade deals made with countries throughout the world and will not be limited to trading through the EU.

It is good to see the drive and energy of companies already trying to forge trade links with the rest of the world.

I am keen to see these points pressed home during the by-election campaign as we finally reach out towards our independence.

Margot Parker is the Member of European Parliament for the UK Independence Party in the East Midlands. She was elected in 2014.

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