No let up in taking back control - Patrick O'Flynn, UKIP MEP
PETERBOROUGH is one of reasons the cause of Brexit triumphed in the EU referendum.
There was a 72% turnout in the city and Leave beat Remain by a walloping 61% to 39%. Nearly 20,000 more Peterborough citizens voted to leave the EU than to remain inside it.
I spent much of Referendum day itself in Peterborough, where my office is located, and did a tour of polling stations.
I remember encountering a rather cocky group of Remain campaigners in the city centre who confidently told me they were heading for victory - as indeed all the national polls were suggesting.
All I could think of to say back was that they should wait and see rather than counting their chickens.
We are now almost 18 months on from that historic referendum day and as an MEP, I only have a year and a bit of my term left to go.
I am determined to use that time to press for as clean and full a Brexit as possible and to put pressure on the political establishment to deliver what people in Peterborough and elsewhere voted for.
Let’s face it, a crucial part of that is much lower immigration, with the UK no longer bound by European freedom of movement rules.
Yet, in all the national media coverage of the Brexit talks we tend to hear very little about future immigration policy.
As part of my work as an MEP, I have held a series of public meetings this autumn under the title of “Full English Brexit” and have begun each gathering by giving the Government a mark out of 10 for each of six tests of progress to date.
The first such event I held was just outside Peterborough in the village of Thorney, where we got a full house at the lovely Bedford Hall, back in September.
We will be putting on more such events early next year, including one in Peterborough itself.
The meetings give people the chance to hear a progress report and then to discuss their own concerns about the Brexit process.
Attenders so far have been mainly Brexit supporters, but there is no bar on Remainers coming along and you will be politely received if you do.
Being from Cambridge originally (boo, hiss!), I have been very glad to have my office in Peterborough for these past three years as I have encountered so many people of like mind when it comes to the EU, which is not something I can’t say for the city of my birth.
I will strive as hard as I can in the coming months to help ensure that when we do leave the EU, we will get back our supremacy in law-making, full control of immigration, our sovereign waters and the right to run our own trade policy, and that we don’t pay a king’s ransom to Brussels for the return of powers that most countries take for granted.
We voted leave.
Now we have got to take back control.